A desolate, rain-beaten northern Italian town. Scattered houses built along a motorway, in the midst of enormous lumber yards, shopping centres, and neon lights. Rino and Cristiano Zena, father and son, live here. Rino is unemployed, or rather makes do with odd jobs. Cristiano is in middle school. The love that binds them is a dark and tragic one. The bond is so strong that not even death can undo it. It is the two of them against the world. Rino raises his son the best he can, in the only way he knows, by filling his head with the wrong ideas: racist, chauvinistic, national-socialist and often violent ideas. Cristiano loves and worships his father. He regards him as his beacon and spiritual guide. Theirs is a misguided but powerful love. They only have one friend, Quattro Formaggi, who has not been right in the head since an accident. Quattro Formaggi lives for Rino, adores Cristiano and spends his days at home, building a strange nativity scene from figurines, toy soldiers, dolls and other objects retrieved from the town dump. One stormy night, as lightning bolts pierce the sky and rain pours down on the houses, fields and people, tragedy strikes in the woods surrounding the town.