The film tells the true story of Guido Rossa, a worker at the Italsider steel plant in Genoa, and the opposition (backed primarily by the Italian Communist Party) to the terrorist Red Brigades, which were extremely active in Genoa in the 1970's. The terrorists sought worker support against the reformist policy of Communist Party leader Berlinguer. Rossa turns in Francesco Berardi, a fellow worker and terrorist accomplice, to the Carabinieri police, testifying at the trial that sends Berardi to prison for more than four years. Unfortunately, Rossa is isolated by the other workers, and on 24 January 1979 he is killed by Red Brigade member Riccardo Dura. But the death of Rossa, whose funeral drew 200,000 outraged workers, marked the repudiation of the Red Brigades by the workers, and thus their political and operational demise.