In post-world war 2 France, the reconstruction effort leads to over exploitation of the working class. Labor unions demand better working conditions and decent salaries. During a demonstration in Brest, the police shoots at the crowd. Edouard Mazé is killed. A filmmaker, René Vautier, films the workers on strike, and Edouard's funeral. The film is shown to the workers across the region, accompanied by a poem by Paul Eluard, A Man Is Dead.