17-year-old Elia is spending the summer harvesting grapes on his parent's farm. Bored and a little lonely, his life is thrown into turmoil when the beautiful and experienced Emilia comes to help with the harvest. His father, Claudio is a staunch Communist and his life too is turned upside down when the popular party leader dies. Maddalena, the mother, continues stoically through it all, secure in her Catholic faith and the prayer meetings she runs. As Emilia becomes more involved in Elia's life he opens up to her about the frustrations and joys of rural teenage life.