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Olivier is preparing his thesis on the history of French Resistance members shot during World War II. His best friend, Guy, works in a book shop and provides him with the materials necessary for his research. What Olivier really wants is to meet Guy’s father who, at the end of the war, miraculously escaped from a group execution.
The young bookseller procrastinates and the meeting never takes place: Guy hides from Olivier the news that the former Resistance hero has just recently died.
Avoiding grief, Guy is gradually overtaken by a feeling of guilt: he soon blames himself for eradicating all trace of his father by honoring the deceased’s wish to be cremated. He returns to the bosom of the family, obsessed by the idea of his dead father.
He finds his sister Danielle and brother Fabien worried about their mother, debilitated, both physically and mentally, by sorrow. Despite his siblings’ warnings, Guy insists on commemorating his father and taking sole charge of his mother. When she is hospitalized due to illness, Guy returns home, prey to increasing madness.