Traces the investigation of aspiring journalist Elias into the suicide of his eccentric cousin Gunther. Growing up in a southern German village, life was difficult for bright, sensitive Gunther. Every day was a struggle to maneuver through the suffocatingly cruel world in which he lived. As a child, Gunther was relegated by overprotective parents to the confines of his family's butcher shop. In this setting, the imaginative Gunther attempted to create a passionate, idealistic life amid squealing expiring pigs and skirling meat saws. Beyond the domestic sphere, Gunther developed offbeat, tender human relationships that his family categorically rejected. Exploring his cousin's tragic failure to overcome the narrow-mindedness of his community, Elias himself encounters local hostility.