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In winter of 1938, Paris is crowded with refugees from the Nazis, who live in the black shadows of night, trying to evade deportation. One such is Dr. Ravic, who practices medicine illegally. One rainy night, Ravic meets Joan Madou, a kept woman cast adrift by her lover's sudden death.
Russia was in the silent year of 1905, at the dawn of its first revolution; the historic upheavals to come were already beginning but in the meantime, the population was still full of resentments, in particular towards the Jewish minority.