In the early days of German reunification, Sam Grant, a freelance journalist, discovers a small eastern river city, Frankfurt. He settles there. He meets Julia, a French Jewess searching for ancestral roots. They produce a child, but Sam cannot leave his adopted city to live Julia's nomadic life.
Approached by a former sports phenom, Sam is enlisted to aid and abet a young singer who was victimized by a press-fabricated scandal. His efforts to play Good Samaritan are complicated by the reappearance of Julia and their son. In exchange for another child, Julia pledges to settle down in Frankfurt — for a while.