Metello (Messimo Ranieri) is the son of an anarchist who shares his father's passion for justice. After he is introduced to love by the young widow Viola (Lucia Bose), he falls in love and marries Ersilia (Ottavia Piccolo). Labor unrest leads to a strike by workers, and Metello is thrown in jail.
Upon his release, he lies to officials when he says he will abandon political causes. He tries to balance his family life and remain true to his ideals in the changing political climate in Florence at the turn of the 20th century. Ennio Morricone provides the music for this feature that appeared at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.