Set in both Sicily and mainland Italy, the film follows the adventures of a man nicknamed Mimi (Giancarlo Giannini). Mimi is a poor labourer who is pressured by his employers to vote for the mafia candidate in a local election. Frustrated by the system and assured that the ballot will be secret Mimi votes for the communist representative instead. However he is fired and assured he will never work again as the ballot was not secret. Disgusted Mimi flees to Turin, while his wife, Rosalia, stays in Sicily.