A man struggles to support his family while remaining true to his ideals in this drama set in Europe during the 1930s. Orfeo Mancini and his wife Nella are a pair of working-class Italians who years ago swore allegiance to the Communist party. With Mussolini on the rise, Orfeo and Nella come to the conclusion that they are no longer welcome in their native land, and they decide to pull up stakes and move to America with their two children. As a result of some confusion en route, the Mancinis end up in Marseilles rather than the United States; needing work, Orfeo takes a job working as a manual laborer for a wealthy landowner. This requires a serious amount of pride-swallowing on Orfeo's part, since his new boss is an Italian expatriate who once courted Nella. The situation becomes all the more difficult for Orfeo when his employer throws his allegiances behind the growing fascist movement.