East Germany, 1956. The summer is drawing to a close and acclaimed playwright Bertolt Brecht (Josef Bierbichler) is preparing to leave his lakeside house, ready for the new Berlin theatre season. His wife Helene and daughter Barbara are at the house, along with his lovers Isot and Käthe. Isot's husband is the political activist Wolfgang Harich, and his presence in the house draws the interest of the secret police. An official tells Helene that Wolfgang will soon be arrested, but advises her to keep this secret. Meanwhile, Bertolt's health continues to deteriorate.