After ten years in prison, Matteo (age 30), has a day of leave to go back to his home town.
Through flashbacks, all of them interconnecting, and an increasing suspense mechanism, we discover his life and the reason for Matteo being in prison.
Antimo, who is killed after something goes wrong in a hold-up, Roberto, who dies falling from a building damaged by an earthquake, Gegge', who commits suicide because his father stole his savings from three years of work, Michele, Matteo’s cousin, who is killed by a group of small-time criminals because he defended a girl, Giovanni, the black soul of the group and Rosa, his wife, Matteo’s secret love, who succumbs to a violent, impossible marriage.
And last of all Anna, his girlfriend, who is raped by her brother Alessandro out of jealousy and for revenge.
This is the main reason that prompts Matteo, so far a passive spectator of all these events, to react and take revenge on Anna’s brother, killing him.
Making the most of his day of leave from prison, Matteo returns to help Rosa run away from Giovanni.
Rosa’s escape and Matteo’s return to prison, which is the conclusion of the film, aren’t without hope; in fact it is just the opposite.
Rosa’s breaking of a bond of dependency and Matteo’s redemption (having settled his accounts with the past by saving Rosa) will be the basis their encounter is the near future, destined to give their lives a turn for the better.