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Feature film adaptation of Louis Paul Boon's novel is partly based upon historical facts. In 1888, a time of social-economical wrongs, the Belgian textile town of Aalst is stunned when factory owner Borremans mercilessly sacks his workers and is even supported by the Catholic Party. The committed priest Adolf Daens (leading role by Jan Decleir) is so concerned about the workers' misery that he publishes ardent articles on this injustice, thereby incurring the wrath of the authorities.