A political drama set in the fictional country of Illyria between 1943 and 1945, the story is about the assassination of a leading politician. The country, an ally of Nazi Germany, is on the verge of being annexed to the Eastern Bloc. Kaurismäki's TV adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's play Les Mains Sales (Dirty Hands) tells the story of Hugo (Matti Pellonpää) who has just been released from prison. Before going to prison, he has worked as a journalist at his party's newspaper. This timid journalist, who uses the pseudonym Raskolnikov, wants to advance in his career and gets his chance when Hoederer (Sulevi Peltola), the leader of the party, has to be eliminated.