One summer day of 1864, George Sand (by Marie-France Pisier) hosts a party for her friends, amongst them - a painter Eugene Delacroix, opera singer Pauline Viardot, her lover, Russian writer Ivan Turgenev and her ill longtime lover Frederic Chopin (by Janusz Olejniczak). The figures of art history are depicted mercilessly: they are all egocentric, petty opportunists, torn by a decadent passion, ecstatic, even comic. As opposed to them, Chopin is portrayed as a misunderstood genius at the end of his life.
The film about the fate of an expatriate seems to be an attempt of Zulawski, himself an expatriate from Poland, to contemplate his own destiny.
An important part of the film is the score comprised of the compositions by Frederic Chopin, performed by a Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak.