The film's action centres on the 14-year-old Peter who lives alone with his mother. Peter, who is currently in the difficult phase of self-discovery, has focused all his longings on his mother. Her own unsatisfied longings mean that she is incapable of reacting accordingly to the needs of her child. Instead, she puts up a barrier without even being aware that she's doing it. Peter makes contact with a radical youth gang in his class. They are all children from the upper class. Peter's attention is directed to Axel, the gang leader, who similarly treats him as coldly as Peter's mother does. His mother becomes acquainted with a young man and, for a while, it looks as if this man has appeared in Peter's life at just the right time to help him in his self-discovery. The mother's longings are so great, though, that she takes up all of the man's time for herself and ignores Peter even more. Peter gets increasingly involved in the brutal activities of his gang and lets himself be manoeuvred ...