Saint-Pierre is a small island off Newfoundland. The year is 1850. Fog and scandal enwrap the island in the wake of a brutal random murder committed by two drunken locals, who are quickly arrested and tried. Neel Auguste (Serbian director Kusturica) is sentenced to the guillotine but, while the device is shipped from Paris, he's turned over to the supervision of Le Capitaine (Auteuil) for hard labour. The latter and his wife (Binoche) are very much in love, and her growing interest and faith in their prisoner's scope for redemption leads Le Capitaine into increasingly serious confrontation with the island's bigoted governing elite. Thus prejudices are tested, loyalties torn and love rent asunder - all of which ought not to come across as so commonplace, but the film is resolutely unsurprising.