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After a forty-year absence, Socrates decides to return to Corsica, his homeland, to spend a few days. His son Antoine, who has never been to the island, accompanies him.
Socrates has emotional reunions with old friends in Bastia and moves into his sister’s place with Antoine. But his highly-awaited return stirs up trouble when one of the friends with whom Socrates hooks up is attacked by mysterious assailants.
The only clue is a lighter, engraved with Socrates’s date of birth and initials. No one recognizes the lighter, but it seems to be linked to an old family secret.
Simultaneously, Antoine discovers Corsica and its inhabitants that he still finds difficult to grasp because of his engrained prejudices about them. Antoine tries to understand his father’s exil and reticence to talk about the place. He comes up against a wall of silence. It’s in this state of frustration that he falls in love with Marie.
In the island’s silence, family secrets take on the form of narrow, snaking mountain tracks.