A., a Greek film maker exiled to the United States, returns to his native Ptolemaïs to attend a special screening of one of his extremely controversial films. But A.'s real interest lies elsewhere- the mythical reels of the very first film shot by the Manakias brothers who, at the dawn of the age of cinema, tirelessly crisscrossed the Balkans and, without regard for national and ethnic strife, recorded the region's history and customs. Did these primitive, never developed images really exist? If so, where are they? From Korita, Albania, to Skoplje, Macedonia, Bucarest to Costanza, Romania, down the Danube to what used to be Yugoslavia, from Belgrade to Sarajevo, A. pursues his search. Along the way, he encounters his own history, the Balkan past, and women whom he could love.