A teacher discovers his calling. Marco relocates to Palermo from Milan and takes a job teaching in a reform school while he waits for a high school position. He tries to understand and motivate his handful of students, reading them colloquial poetry, encouraging them to stand up for their rights, finding out about their histories. Natale, in for murder, enamoured of the Mafia, the King Rat within the group; Mery, a drag queen, arrested for assault when defending himself, in love with Mario and, in daylight, rejected by all; Pietro, illiterate, muscular, believing his destiny is set; the callow Claudio, vulnerable, learning to harden himself. What can Mario learn and do in such a short time?