In an isolated mountain hamlet surrounded by vineyards, the villagers swear to be one, big family careful and protective of each other. What they don’t say is that the members of the community are totally unable of expressing their emotions and inner feelings. Here everyone abides to ‘rispet’, a word in the local dialect that contains, in one word, the concepts of honour and shame. An unwritten code of shared rules that forges their common identity, intolerant of anyone different.
It is actually the person that all the villagers believe is different, the one they call Corvaz, that will break the community’s routine. Nicola/Corvaz is a simple and instinctive 30-year-old that works hard in the family vineyards and loves going around with his dog Toni, his only friend. His life suddenly changes when his mother dies. Secluded years before in a psychiatric hospital she is accused of having tried to drown her son. On the day of his mother’s funeral, Nicola overhears that she committed suicide, rekindling his sense of guilt, convinced since childhood to be the cause of her insanity.
When the village is troubled by the vandalizing of the wooden sculptures embellishing the square, all accuse Nicola/Corvaz. Even Mara, the energetic bartender of the village engaged with the scion of a powerful local family, believes it was him. Trying to overcome her prejudices, a friendship between the two will ignite the grudge of the community against Corvaz. Once their punishing expedition gets out of hand, killing the dog Toni, Nicola/Corvaz will be forced to show his ferocious side and break the chains linked to the villagers ‘rispet’.