The film relates the story of three people who get to know each other at
their jobs at a Mannheim eldercare facility, and along the way learn the meaning
of love. Viewed from the outside, things seems to be going quite well for
the protagonists, though privately their reasons for being reveal themselves
in permanent inner struggles. The caregiver, 42-year old Holger (Tom Jahn)
spends his life seemingly following an orderly path, but is fleeing his messy,
disorderly relationships in Berlin. He moves to southern Germany, where in
his new surroundings, he falls in love with 49-year old Barbara (Pola Kinski),
who has been employed in the same nursing home as a kitchen hand for many
Their affection for each other is strong, and they powerfully close ranks when head nurse Petra Opels (Isolde Fischer) begins to express her enthusiasm for Holger.
The capricious and strange world of the old age home is not only a workplace for the three protagonists, but also time and again seems to express itself in a series of "personal mirrored images". The somewhat crazy Mrs. Kramer (Lieselotte Langer) is brought to the point of seeing "pop-song singing ghosts" (mardi gras.bb). The old, feeble lady with her Zimmer frame becomes a metaphor for awakening and for life itself. The disagreements with her and the other elders pushes all three protagonists into more and more tragic-comic situations, leading them, in the end, to attain a certain kind of spirituality.