George (Robert Carlyle), a feisty and free-spirited Scotsman, drives a bus in1987 Glasgow. After standing up for a beautiful and mysterious woman being given a hard time by a bus inspector, he tracks her down to a hostel where she's staying. Carla (Oyanka Cabezas) is a traumatized exile from war-torn Nicaragua. George finds her a spare room at a friend's house, romances her on his bus, and after being fired from his job, purchases tickets for them to Nicaragua.
Carla's Song, directed by Ken Loach (Land and Freedom) and written by Paul Laverty, depicts the lengths to which one well-intentioned man will go in the name of love. Knowing that Carla will never be truly free until she learns the fate of her boyfriend whom she abandoned in a desperate situation, George meets all of her friends who are involved in the struggle against the Contras, a right-wing guerilla movement. Bradley (Scott Glenn), a U.S. human rights activist who was once in the CIA, reveals the extent of the American support of the rebels against the Sandinista government. Experiencing a swift and deadly Contra attack on Carla's village, George realizes that not even love can heal the wounds of war and the strong pull of the past. Ken Loach has made another striking and memorable film about the emotional firefights that flare up when the personal and the political are linked.