Inspired by real events, this is the story of a community that wanted to create a new experience of brotherhood, but instead met with tragedy.
In the state of Indiana, a group of hunters discover a ‘wild child’ living in the woods. The trail of the monster that seemed to have accompanied him – a creature half man, half beast – has disappeared. Years later, in 1863, that child – Emile – lives in a colony called New Fraternity, founded by McCorman, a prosperous Scottish businessman with extremely progressive social ideas. These ideals have inspired him to establish a utopian village, a miniature society in which individuals have freely chosen to combine their goods. Nonetheless, the colony is torn between the true idealists (among them Fanny, a woman writer, Josiah Walker, an anarchist, and McCorman himself), and those who increasingly doubt the success of this experiment : the entomologist Sawyer and the architect Whitechapel. The latter want to return to a more traditional social structure, based on the values of work, community and education. The arrival of soldiers in New Fraternity revives these tensions, and provides a forceful reminder of the (sometimes harsh) realities of the world outside. In fact, the American Civil War has broken out. McCorman, seeking to protect the colony, agrees to a pact with the soldiers, enraging his ally Josiah. After suffering Sawyer’s anger, Emile flees into the forest, where he discovers the beast who seems to have been waiting for him… However, it is captured by the colonists, and imprisoned in the village. McCorman, who has fallen ill, senses that the situation is slipping out of his control, especially when a group of the colonists accuse the beast of bring a demon – the Devil himself! Tragedy seems inevitable…