Paris 1895; Pierre is a Parisian dandy and poet on the verge of fame. He and his poet friend Henri are both madly in love with Marie, the cheeky daughter of their mentor, Franco-Cuban poet José-Maria de Heredia. Although she loves Pierre, obeying her father she marries Henri to pay off her father's debt and in search of a better social position. Thereupon Pierre decides to flee to Algeria and there meets Zohar, with whom he shares a passion for erotic photography. Returning to Paris with her two years later, he finds Marie again, who confesses that he is the one she loves. They start an affair against the backdrop of Paris's erotic photography, in a cat-and-mouse game with people who involve their lives and breaking the codes set by society which will will make them one of the best-known writers and poets of 19th-century France.