In 1963, Antoine wounded in the Algerian war, arrives at the small Breton island of Ouessant to join the team of lighthouse keepers, replacing the tower's adored deceased patriarch, Emile. The locals feel the job should have gone to one of their own, and Antoine is not only a stranger, but a novice, and struggles to fit in. Easygoing and good-humored despite the animosity directed toward him, Antoine slowly bonds with sullen, unfriendly Yvon during their periods of extended isolation working together in the offshore lighthouse. Despite this, the natives back at the island still murmur -- and much more besides -- when Antoine, the perpetual outsider, walks past them. Worse for Antoine is that he is unable to disguise his deep attraction to Yvon's wife Mabe -- and this threatens both of them.