The film adaptation of Siegfried Lenz's novel of the same name tells the timeless story of a first great love: that of a pupil for his teacher.
The end of a summer, a sleepy fishing port on the Baltic Sea and the beginning of a great love that isn’t allowed to be: Just before the beginning of the new school year, the 18 year old Christian falls in love with his new English teacher Stella Petersen.
In a moment of carefree ease and freedom, in the dune and sea landscape far from the small village, Stella and Christian discover a shared longing and attraction, the intensity of which overwhelms them both. But soon after the lessons have begun again, the secret relationship between the young teacher and her student threatens to become a scandal: Christian's parents, his classmates and the teaching staff express mistrust, concern and indignation.
While Stella is constantly evades Christian, he is already forging plans for a common future. When Stella falls victim to a sailing accident, Christian’s world collapses.