Eva (Anna Maria Mühe) and Jo (Max von Thun) have nothing but each other and heroin in their lives. They have broken off all contact with friends and family, including Eva's father (Hanns Zischler) and her good-natured, former lover and next-door neighbour Tom (Johannes Allmayer).
When Eva finds out that she is pregnant, she and Jo decide that their life has to change.
They go cold turkey and, as far away as possible from the provincial limitations and picturesque, bourgeois town of Bamberg, the lovers plan a fresh start in New Zealand.
But their attempts to get their hands on enough cash for the journey fail. Eva's father,
a disciplined choirmaster, shows her the door when he catches her trying to write out a cheque for herself in his name. Eva begs her friend Tom to help them, but he also refuses. And so, Jo and Eva come up with a desperate plan to rob an antique bookshop in town.
Eva is supposed to distract the owner while Jo raids the till. But suffering from withdrawal symptoms the couple behaves awkwardly and the plan goes wrong. The angry bookseller threatens them with a gun and calls the police. In a panic Eva strikes him down with an ornamental bust grabs from a shelf. Shocked by her violent action, Eva calls for help for the injured man before trying to escape. But the police are already on the scene and Jo is caught immediately. Eva snatches the shopkeeper's gun, threatens the policemen and promises Jo that she will get him out of prison. She then flees the scene and manages to shake off the police in the narrow streets of Bamberg's old town.
Tormented by withdrawal symptoms and completely exhausted, Eva hides in the entrance to a block of flats. During the night she hears a heated marital dispute between
Paul (Axel Prahl) and Gisela (Kirsten Block) who live in the building. Gisela storms out after the row and so the next morning Eva slips into their flat when Paul goes out into the courtyard to use the bottle bank. Shaking, with the gun in her hand, Eva forces Paul to tie himself to a chair. Paul obeys as he instantly senses the danger emanating from this unpredictable young woman who is wracked by pain.
In the course of the next agonising hours, Eva begins to tell Paul about her life and
her plans to free Jo from prison. Although her and Jo are miles apart and both trying to get through their cold turkey, Eva and him are somehow able to communicate through the power of love and even play the same music together at the same time. As time passes a tentative, fatherly relationship gradually develops between the keenly observant teacher Paul and Eva.
However, the situation comes to a dangerous head when Paul's wife Gisela returns to the flat unexpectedly. Gisela manages to call the police and they immediately surround the house. Eva's father arrives at the flat and begs his daughter to give herself up, but Eva is already on the run again, only this time with Paul as her hostage...