Borrowing its name from the title of a literary genre, the film recognises the indeterminacy of both fiction and of the being. Film noir elements are reduced to inexpressive gestures under the bright Californian sunlight. Field recordings made in New Zealand can be heard while the women talk to one another about motherhood, abortion, break-ups and anxiety. A civil rights demonstration moves slowly along a street. The bodies appear in states of weariness, injured or relaxed, while the songs of Irma Thomas and Goldberg evoke the passing of time and an uncertain future.