A family made up predominantly of women and one uncle who is a priest live in a poor village on the outskirts of Naples in 1954. The male child sleeps in his mother’s bed but fears his father’s return home because that will mean he will no longer be able to sleep with Mum. When the father does come back, the child projects his affections onto Rafilina, the fifteen-year old maid who is in love with Carmine Russo, a good-for-nothing who plays snooker all day at the bar. The child often witnesses Rafilina and Carmine’s trysts and observes the steady deterioration of the relationship aided and abetted by a talk that the father of the house has with the young maid. One night, Carmine and Rafilina have a fight and do not realise that the child is looking. Carmine attacks Rafilina and the child springs to her defence trying to hit him. In his heart, the child vows revenge.