In the aftermath of a critical World War II battle, Father Gaetano is assigned as the sole priest at the Church of San Domenico in the small, seaside Sicilian village of Tringale. The previous pastor has died, and now the young priest must say all of the masses himself. In addition, he is tasked with shepherding the war’s many orphans taken in by the San Domenico rectory. The children are a joy, but his attempts to teach them the catechism are in vain until he finds an ornate box of puppets in the basement. By day the puppets are teaching tools, but after dark… they emerge from their box, without their strings. And the children's lives will never be the same again.