In Fellini's sly social and political allegory, made in 1978 for Italian television, an orchestra assembles for a rehearsal under the inquisitive lenses of a TV crew. The musicians introduce themselves, expounding with wit, passion and rancour about their work before the rehearsal begins under the baton of an autocratic conductor. Soon the musicians' bawdy humour turns to anarchy as he tries to impose his will on this diverse group of players. Throughout the film, ominous rumblings from the outside world have haunted their music-making, and at the height of their savagery a wrecking ball literally brings the walls down around their ears. Looking to the conductor for leadership, the shell-shocked musicians begin to play again in perfect harmony.