Growing up on an isolated island off the coast of Croatia during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, young Serafin Skoko's (Vjekoslav Jankovic) formative years were as repressive as they were lonely. His father Joseph -- the island's lighthouse keeper -- ruled his household with an iron hand while making little effort to conceal his affair with his son's nanny Magda. His mother Marija was his only solace from the island's isolation and his father's tirades until her tragic and unexplained death. Years pass and Serafin has become an enlisted officer in the Empire's army, as well as the lover of a particularly noxious young woman named Tonka. As this relationship threatens to bankrupt him due to Tonka's lavish spending habits, Serafin checks into a mental institution faking mental illness so that his honor and army position may remain intact. However, Serafin's deception becomes truth as he experiences a long overdue breakdown -- which leads to his unexpected salvation at the hands of intriguing hospital laundry attendant Sofia.
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