In the impoverished northern New Mexico town of Milagro, a struggling farmer illegally diverts water intended for a new ski resort onto his barren pinto bean field, setting off the titular war between the Anglo resort owners and the local Hispanic farmers and ranchers.
This film provides examples of:
- Cloudcuckoolander: Armarante
- Dying Town: Milagro.
- Meaningful Name: Milagro is Spanish for 'miracle'.
- Mexican Standoff: Near the end of the movie, between the police and the residents of Milagro, when Montana tries to arrest Joe and take him out of town.Sheriff Montoya: (to the police) Does the name Custer ring a bell?
- Our Angels Are Different: They wear Mexican peasant clothing and play the concertina.
- The Trickster: The Coyote Angel.