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Within the confines of a circus, the monkeys scream wildly in their cages while outside, men kill each other in the ring of a completely different circus: the Spanish Civil War.
Recruited by force by the Republican army, Auguste the clown finds himself, in his stage costume, in the middle of a battle where he ends up carrying out a massacre by machete among the national camp.
A few years later, during Franco's dictatorship, his son Javier, is working as a sad clown in a circus where he encounters an incredible group of marginal characters, such as the Human Canonball, the elephant trainer, a couple going through a crisis, dog trainers, along with another clown, Sergio, who is brutal and consumed by hate and despair.
The two clowns will confront each other, ready to go to any lengths, to win the heart of Natalia, an acrobat, and the most beautiful and cruellest woman in the circus.