This is a psychological drama about Louis Riquier (Charles Berling), a veteran of the Algerian war and a divorced father whose wife (Beatrice Palme) has custody of their children and who barricades himself with the kid...展开s in his country house. The police and the press surround the house, but he does not want to surrender. Instead, he gets more and more violent. Manipulated by their father, the kids go along with the scenario, taking it as a game. The film has as background the turbulence of 1968, with all its left-wing political implications. As in the director's previous film (Vieux fusil (The Old Gun), the gun also has multiple purposes here. Literally speaking, it is the instrument of crime; metaphorically, it is the force that would liberate the poor victim from his tragic fate. But the hero is just too violent and emotionally disturbed to evoke one's pity. The film is heavy with many denunciations, trying to evoke the atmosphere of the early 1970's, but it loses its impact when it abandons character development in favor of political jargon and becomes only an imperfect copy of an important period in French history.