Unable to live with her mother, Berit is institutionalised for many years. When she is released from the institutions she ends up on the streets of the harbour slums of Gothenburg, and is forced to take a job. The job is conditional on her living with her mother and she becomes a young woman in deep suicidal despair. One night she escapes her mother's overbearing apartment to go to a dance and, in an effort to lighten her spirits, she meets a sailor and tells her new-found confidante of her troubled past. She starts to spend more time with him and begins to meet others, soon, she discovers that she is not the only one with problems.