Steff, a solitary gay man nearing middle age in Zurich, seeks capital to buy a furniture restoration business. A newspaper's funeral notice for Martin Hilder, dead from cancer, jolts him: he and Martin had been lovers for three years, and Steff didn't know Martin was ill. At the funeral, Martin's gaunt lover, Rex, angrily denounces the family's denial: Martin, whom he calls "Hilde" and refers to as "she," died of AIDS. Martin's will leaves everything to Steff, plus the wish that his ashes be released into the sea off the coast of France. Martin's mother wants the estate and the ashes: she makes Steff an offer. Rex wants Martin's wishes honored. Will the ashes reach the sea?