The Martanos, a Southern working-class family who live in Turin, have the fortune to have their daughter Emma. Emma works for Fiat in a new sector, the IT sector. She has worked hard since she was a child to cancel all trace of her origins and to make her way to the top. She is about to finish her Mathematics degree and is planning to marry Silvio, a manager in the company, who is a widower and has a daughter. In September 1980, Fiat announces that it will be sacking fifteen thousand employees. A long strike takes place which lasts 35 days. During the conflicts between employees and managers, Emma finds herself attracted to a young militant man called Sergio. And during the conflict Emma has a brief but intense love affair with him, which makes her struggle to reach the top seem unimportant and causes her to distance herself from her family and the man who wants to marry her. In a few days, Emma is subjected to the most important experience of her life. As one era comes to an end, another one begins but prospects look bleak.