1913, Budapest, the heart of Europe. Irisz Leiter, 20, arrives in the Hungarian capital after spending her younger years in an orphanage. Hoping to work as a milliner in the legendary hat store which belonged to her late parents, she is first driven away by Oszkar, the new owner. When a man abruptly comes to her looking for “Kalman Leiter,'' she is suddenly confronted with her past. As she searches for answers about her family and stumbles upon dark secrets, she is drawn into the turmoil of a civilization on the eve of its downfall.