Camille (Pascale Bussières), a professor at a Protestant college, is engaged to Martin (Henry Czerny), a sympathetic minister and fellow professor. As "career Christians", they are urged to get married and to become co-chaplains of the New College of Faith. But Camille is vaguely unhappy with Martin and her life, and when her beloved dog dies suddenly, she begins to lose her grip.
On the same day, in a laundromat, Camille meets Petra (Rachael Crawford), a flamboyant circus performer, and is inexplicably attracted to her. Petra flirts brazenly with Camille. She draws her into the seductive world of the "modern primitive" circus. The two become friends, then more. For the first time in her proper and very intellectual life, Camille's desire comes rushing forward. She is shocked to find that she is infatuated with Petra. Soon, she believes that she is in love.
But all is not well with the circus. Hounded by creditors, the circus must leave town, threatening to tear the new lovers apart. Meanwhile, part of Camille is still deeply attached to Martin, as he is to her.
Terrified at the prospect of radical change, Camille is compelled to make a choice between the woman she wants and a man that she has loved. For Camille, the true duty of the soul is desire.
Director: Patricia Rozema
Script: Patricia Rozema
Cinematography: Douglas Koch
Principle Cast: Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, Henry Czerny
Original Score: Lesley Barber
Producer: Barbara Tranter