The film is set in 1943. It’s the story of the filming on “Redenzione”, a film produced with funding from the Vatican by Ettore Benedetti (Toni Bertorelli). He offers the main role, the character of an aristocratic woman who spends her fortune helping the sick and the needy, to the famous actress Elena Monti (Giuliana De Sio). Even though she’s not convinced about the part, Monti accepts, on the condition that the director will be the excellent Giovanni Forti (Giulio Scarpati). He's an anti-fascist and this film will allow him to avoid being transferred to Venice along with the rest of Italian cinema, which is being forcibly moved following the advent of the Fascist Republic. Naturally, the film recounts the various events concerning the cast and crew members, and it tells the story of who is linked to the fascist regime and, above all, who isn’t.
It’s the story of Primo Ratelli (Andrea Di Stefano) the male star of the film, a fascist through and through. For political motives, he isn’t happy about the youngsters who are taken on as extras to escape the clutches of the Nazis, whose “real” faces have attracted the attention of the director, damaging his professional status.
It’s the story of Gabriella (Francesca Perini), the charming assistant costumer and her love for Silvio (Damiano Andriano) the set photographer, who’s young but has tremendous talent. The strength of realism in his photos is the first precursor to a new and different way of making films.
And it’s the story of Andrea Gautieri (Filippo Nigro), a courageous partisan, who manages to get hired to play a small part, thus escaping from the Germans. The film's diva then falls in love with him, and he also rescues an important politician being persecuted by the regime, who is in hiding at the convent where they are making the film.