Flora Tristan was a 19th century utopian socialist feminist, notorious in her day, now largely forgotten. A young historian (Pauly) leaves husband and child to seek traces of Tristan in contemporary Lyons. Disillusioned with the records-and-monuments methods of historians, she roams the streets recording sounds Tristan may have heard. A film about the impossibility of knowing the past; the camera looks and looks but only yields implacably closed images. Sound's the thing, and in the final, long-held shot of the woman ecstatically playing her violin, the film's complex and compelling themes come together.