The Mediterranean sea is the backdrop for this social drama from director Lina Wertmuller. While vacationing on a yacht, the wealthy capitalist Raffaella (Mariangela Melato) shouts out orders in between spouting off political opinions amongst her friends. She is especially confrontational to the deck hand and servant Gennarino (frequent Wertmuller leading man Giancarlo Giannini), by demanding that he appear more presentable. Gennarino grows increasingly frustrated by her demands and develops contempt for her independence. When it is nearing dark, Raffaella has Gennarino take her out in the dinghy for a swim. The two find themselves stranded after the motor seizes up and a current sends them drifting out to sea. Eventually finding land, they end up on an uninhabited island and their small boat deflates. Removed from the trappings of society, Gennarino and Rafaella engage in a passionate power struggle fueled by sexual tension and basic survival. Their desperation develops into a strange and cruel love affair that determines whether or not they want to be rescued.