Lea as a young girl is traumatised by her brutal father, who beats her mother to death. Turned mute by the experience, she is taken to live with another family. Years later, she is bought by German craftsman Strehlow, who has his own past to grapple with. He lost his first wife on their honeymoon and joined the foreign legion as an escape. Lea battles against his ownership, and executes her own escape through painting and poetry. When Wanda translates the poems for Strehlow, he is given insight into Lea's psyche.