This didactic film is built around the ideas of French physician, writer and philosopher Henri Laborit, who plays himself in the film. It uses the stories of three people to illustrate Laborit's theories on evolutionary psychology regarding the relationship of self and society.
René (Gérard Depardieu) leaves the family farm to become an executive at a French textile firm. Janine (Nicole Garcia) leaves her proletarian family behind to become an actress/stylist who becomes involved with Jean (Roger Pierre), a well-educated bourgeois writer/politician. All three characters face difficult choices in life-changing situations that are designed to illuminate Laborit's ideas.