10 May 1930. A dinner party that will decide the future.Emilio, Arturo and Nina, the woman they both love, speed through the hills of Lombardy towards an exclusive party. The guest of honour will be F. T. Marinetti, the Father of Futurism, who has promised an extraordinary evening -- and a meal that will revolutionise Italian cuisine.The two men, struggling painters whose rivalry simmers beneath the surface of their friendship, hope the party will launch their careers. But success in Mussolini's Italy will force impossible dilemmas on both. Arturo must choose between his love for Nina and his gnawing ambition. Emilio, haunted by his last visit to his elderly uncle -- in hospital after being brutally beaten up for his socialist views -- must decide whether he can live with himself if he yields to the temptations of the regime.For Nina, the stakes are even higher. Her husband has disappeared, trailing dangerous rumours of his involvement in a plot against the Duce. And at the party there is a man from her past -- the reptilian Commendatore Scaglia -- who has good reason to wish her harm.In the claustrophobic atmosphere of a Fascist dictatorship, dreams of a modernist future collide with the realities of life under a repressive regime, and the evening ticks inexorably towards violent confrontation.