In Romania in the late 1930s, Dominic (Tim Roth) is an old man who has sacrificed everything -- including the love of his life, Laura (Alexandra Maria Lara) -- in his study of the origin of language. He is planning his suicide when a bolt of lightning reduces his age and magnifies his brain power. Dominic is sent to Switzerland to elude the Nazis. There, years later, he meets a woman who looks like Laura. Through her he goes on a surreal, metaphysical exploration of language, life and reality.