Superintendent Pharaon De Winter (Emmanuel Schotte) investigates the murder of a girl aged 11, who had also been raped. The film starts with her body being examined by De Winter in a remote rural field next to a railway line. The film then focuses on De Winter's struggle to deal with the realities of the world. In the weekend that follows, he spends time at a restaurant and at the seaside with his neighbours, Domino (Severine Caneele) and Joseph (Philippe Tullier), both of whom are in a relationship. Joseph is a crude man, as revealed from his disturbing carnal desires, seen from his actions and his use of language, in contrast to Domino, whom De Winter considers as tender and to whom he is attracted.
Domino and her colleagues vote to go on strike at the factory where they work. The police authorities in Lille and Paris are starting to pressure the local police, in particular De Winter's boss, to find the murderer. Eventually, after the Lille authorities take over the investigation, Joseph is arrested. Domino is distraught, and De Winter becomes similarly emotionally unstable.
There is only the barest outline of a plot. A girl is murdered, a policeman is assigned to solve the murder. The film is shot in contemplative and symbolical style, which corresponds to De Winter's character and his method of investigation.