This is the story of an eight year old and an old man, both called "Simplicio".
The old man ekes out a lonely, meagre existence, living in a sunken ship which has been washed ashore a short distance from a fishing village. His fine boat that had made him the envy of his fellows, was destroyed in a storm.
One day old Simplicio finds a child drifting in a boat; he gives him his own name and takes him to live with him in the wreck. He brings the child up, and over the years teaches him the fishing skills he knows.
A group of villagers who would like to sell the sunken boat for scrap metal, try to make them give up their home, but the two companions won't budge.
Old Simplicio becomes ill, and before dying, prevails on their only friend, the eccentric village priest Father Guillermo, to protect the boy from being sent to an orphanage.
Left on his own, the boy adopts a seagull that cannot fly, and develops an obsession with death. Father Guillermo pleads with Simplicio to live with him, but he refuses.
The villagers start threatening the boy with violence unless he leaves his boat. Simplicio asks the police for help in vain, and is left on his own to face a concerted attack of village louts.
Born in Italy, worked as fashion photographer for Vogue in New York, Paris, Rome, Sydney. Made a feature film with Verushka in Italy. Moved to Venezuela, where he made his second feature, Simplicio (1978).