Sixteen-year-old Saverio lives together with his mother and her lover, Marcello, a smalltime criminal, in a rundown part of Rome's suburbs. Saverio keeps trying to improve his financial situation again and again by stealing car radios and selling them off to Marcello, until one day he gets caught. Because Saverio is still a minor, Bianca, a dedicated lawyer, decides to take a personal interest in his case. But when she turns up at his mother's apartment and wants to have a serious talk with her and Marcello, a fierce argument ensues, in the course of which Marcello throws Bianca out. Saverio leaves the building with Bianca, and takes her up on her offer of driving him into Rome. But when she has to stop at a petrol station, the young boy leaps behind the wheel and drives off with the car. However, in the middle of the night the car has gearbox trouble. Saverio leaves it standing at the side of the road and decides to fight his way across the fields through the pouring rain to the next...