In an old mansion in Cennethisar, a former fishing village near
Istanbul, an old widow Fatma awaits the annual summer visit of her
grandchildren. She has lived in the village for decades, ever since
her husband, an idealistic young doctor, first arrived to serve the
poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her
faithful servant Recep, a dwarf and the doctor's illegitimate son.
They share memories, and grievances, of the early years, before
Cennethisar became a high-class resort. Her visiting grandchildren
are Faruk, a dissipated failed historian; his sensitive leftist
sister, Nilgun; and Metin, a high school student drawn to the fast
life of the nouveaux riches, who dreams of going to America. But it
is Recep's nephew Hassan, a high-school dropout, lately fallen in
with right-wing nationalists, who will draw the visiting family
into the growing political cataclysm issuing from Turkey's
tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity.