“Why are you so hard?” This unexpected remark from a homeless man makes 37-year-old Barnabé Raphaël wonder about himself.
Giving up the trappings of the perfect social climber and shattering his fine career, he sells his Paris studio to go back to the ocean of his childhood, and step back in time. Raphaël thus sheds the “hard rhino skin” this is shutting in his dusty old self and becomes a wanderer again.
Helped by Mathilde, an old friend of his maternal grandmother and the last witness to his family history, he sets off in search of his past, retracing the footsteps of his whole family. From now on he feels an awesome presence, and relearns how to talk to things with the joy and openness of a child or poet.
He travels a road strangely scattered with signs that spur on his fate, where his path seems to converge with that of the woman he meets at the end of the journey, one who might love his.