During World War II, a group of Italian prisoners-of-war are sent to rural northern Scotland to work in the fields. Jamie (Phyllis Logan in a very moving performance), the depressed wife of an asexual farmer, befriends two of them. Luigi (Giovanni Mauriello) is attracted to her, and eventually she capitulates to his advances. The hot-blooded Italian brings sunshine into the bleak landscape of her life. However, when the authorities accuse him of raping a young woman in the fields, Jamie must reveal her adultery in order to save his life. Writer-director Michael Radford skillfully unravels this tale of forbidden love, paying special attention to the clash between individual fulfillment and community standards.