In late summer 1973, Michael Skid (Scarfe), the son of a wealthy judge, returns from his world travels. He rents a dilapidated farm and begins to spread the gospel of communal ideas which he has absorbed during his time abroad. These ideas go over well with impoverished siblings Madonna (Kelly) and Silver Brassaurd (Jacot) who like Michael and are impressed by him. They go over less well with Tom Donneral (Bennett), a young farmer who maintains that Michael's ideas of sharing are nothing new among working people. Tom humiliates Michael by ridiculing his privileged upbringing. Embarassed and seeking acceptance, Michael befriends ex-convict Everette Hatch (Outerbridge). Recognizing opportunity in Michael's ideas, Everette sets out a plan for communal sharing that leads to a drug deal. Believing himself capable of understanding people different from himself, Michael fails to realize that Everette is manipulating him and so sets off a catastrophic chain of events in the community.
Based on the novel of the same name by David Adams Richards.