A young, mentally ill man, a visual artist in crisis Victor Marse (Lars von Trier) meets two nurses (Eliza and her girlfriend) during his stay in a sanatorium. Victor lives with Eliza and her son. He imagines another woman when he is roaming at a coast. He pretends committing a suicide but Eliza does not react to it. Every moment, he stays in front of a blank canvas and thinks. Meanwhile he dresses into Nazi clothes or into women dresses, then he leaves to go to the cinema, and abuses and probably kills a small girl. His masochistic affair with Eliza lasts; he is close to shooting her with a gun but instead she takes out a whip. Victor goes along the streets then he lies naked in front of the canvas on which he has left his bloody fingerprints. After this he drives a funeral car to his work - he is employed in a garden where orchids are grown. Eliza is now the past and in the end, Victor might be dead as someone drives a cross into the ground.