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August 1991. As post-Communist Albania starts falling apart, Giorgio seeks refuge in Italy. He and thousands of his fellow refugees are locked up in the football stadium in Bari for wont of a sufficiently large holding area. Giorgio escapes from the camp, steals a small boat and sets out in search of his grandfather who lives in Pietrecamela, a small village in the Abruzzi Mountains. Unfortunately his grandfather is dead. Giorgio is lucky to find a job as a shepherd but the peace and serenity of the mountains is only apparent. Giorgio falls in love with Luisa, a young teacher and virtually the only eligible female in the village. However Silvester considers Luisa his fiancée and blinded by jealousy, he reports Giorgio to the police but before they manage to get to Pietrecamela, there is a violent confrontation between the two rivals. Silvester is mortally wounded and Giorgio is arrested. Luisa, who thinks she might be pregnant with Giorgio's baby, is left alone. Fast forward to August...