Paris has its share of homeless people, and some of them live in little communities near the oldest bridge in the city, the Pont-Neuf. In the story, street-person Alex (Denis Lavant) has passed out along a much-traveled road, and a taxi has slightly injured his leg, which was in the way of traffic. When he limps back to his usual resting spot under the bridge, he finds a surprisingly unspoiled young woman (Juliette Binoche) wearing an eye patch sleeping there and confronts her about it. They become acquainted, and he learns that she is Michèle, a painter from a good suburban family who has taken to the streets in order to practice her art uninterruptedly until the time when she will inevitably lose her vision to a degenerative eye disorder. Alex earns his booze money through doing street theater: fire-eating and gymnastic routines. The two become buddies and lovers, share many adventures while practicing the arts of street survival, and even have some fun along the way. So close do they become that, when Alex is imprisoned for a violent act of jealousy, a newly cured Michèle visits him in prison and promises to meet him on the bridge when he is released. Despite this film's setting among the poor, it cost a lot of money to make: one of the big costs was the need to build a replica of the Pont-Neuf.