Though Berlin policeman Laxe is determined to control everyone's lives, he too has a serious problem requiring solution: he beats his wife, Manuela. After hospitalising her for the eleventh time, he decides to visit his brother Walter in San Francisco and put some kind of order into his psychological confusion. Separated since their younger years, when their mother left their father, Laxe's visit turns up the ground for both brothers and memories of their violent childhood resurface. Laxe falls for Walter's flatmate, Inga, insisting on helping her to get her life together. Walter looks on horrified as Laxe falls back into his customary behaviour: taking control of Inga's life. Laxe is faced with an ultimate challenge when Inga admits that she is pregnant by someone she refuses to name.
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