In Passy, Paris, 1895. The young widow Hélène calls the doctor Henri Deberle during the night, when her daughter Jeanne suddenly gets breathless. Together they spend the night at the bedside, and it develops from a trusting encounter a love relationship. When the doctor Hélène one day confesses his love, the daughter comes from jealousy in another, life-threatening crisis. A film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Émile Zola, which addresses the social milieu of the bourgeois family in the "Second Empire".