At age nine, Fini Straubinger (now 56) fell down a flight of stairs, and over time first lost her sight and then her hearing. After spending many lonely bedridden years, she learned to communicate using the hand alphabet and regained her physical and mental strength. Now she helps other deaf-blind people, while also promoting understanding for this disability and how it causes a deep sense of isolation, particularly for those born that way. Werner Herzog accompanies Fini as she visits people with this condition, takes a trip to the zoo and travels by plane for the first time. The camera watches her with great patience and attention, and a voice-over occasionally gives a short explanation of what we're seeing. Slowly, we enter the world of this brave woman and her constant battle against sliding back into that fateful "land of silence and darkness."