Adaptation of Afred Döblin's 1929 novel, set in contemporary Berlin: Fleeing from Guinea-Bissau, Francis set on a dangerous journey from Africa to Europe. When the boat he is on is hit by a storm, he swears to be an honest man if he is saved. Eventually, he makes it to the European coast unharmed. He eventually arrives in Berlin, determined to fulfill his oath. Yet his good intentions are compromised by his friendship with German drug dealer Reinhold, who continuously manipulates the well-meaning and naïve Francis into taking part in his criminal schemes. When Francis falls deeply in love with kind-hearted Mieze, his life finally seems to take a turn for the better. But Reinhold isn't willing to let go of his "protégé".