In Italy, immediately subsequent to the war, a group of people who lost all they possessed during the conflict, settle in a village in ruins. They intend to restore the city from the rubble and re-start life, in imitation of the women of Messina who rebuilt their city, destroyed as it was by an earthquake. Oscillating between respect and suspicion, co-existence between group members is tense. Things become complicated when an envoy from the government arrives to say that nothing there belongs to them. The film is a free adaptation of fragments of the novella ‘The Women of Messina’, by Sicilian writer Elio Vittorini.