Lorenz Kandler lives in a small Bavarian village. He is a widower and runs the local pub with his sons Franz and Sebastian. The pub of course has a group of regulars who frequently use the pub’s back room to rehearse a Passion play they plan to perform.
Eleven-year-old Sebastian, a bright, cheeky little scamp, sees life as one big adventure, yet believes he is responsible for his mother’s death because she died while giving birth to him. Apart from this “homicide” – a transgression his older brother Franz refuses to forgive him for – he has an array of other terrible misdeeds to answer for and has consequently become accustomed to battling the scourges of purgatory on a nightly basis.
In a naive attempt to evade this eternal blaze, he tries with all his might to cleanse himself of his sins. All the while the pub’s regulars are at his side offering friendly advice.
Sebastian’s overzealousness, however, does not reap the success he had hoped: an attempt at reanimation ends in a blown up bunny cadaver; he whispers an indecent proposal in his teacher Ms Dorstreiter’s ear; an old woman from the neighbourhood nearly loses her life. None of this does much to help clear his guilty conscience.
Finally, Sebastian believes he has received a sign from his mother: he is to find a new wife for his father. The regular’s table agrees, “A lass with wit, her head screwed on right and a firm bum!” Their single neighbour Frau Kramer appears to fulfil these criteria. Sebastian assumes the guise of the well-mannered boy and proceeds to charm and bewitch her while alluding to the many hardships his father must endure. However, Lorenz Kandler is annoyed when chatty Frau Kramer begins calling on him shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Sebastian, his father and his teacher have begun to feel an inexplicable and almost magical attraction to one another.
There is one more glitch. Ms Dorstreiter is married to Alfred, a rough-and-tumble DJ who broadcasts his cult radio show from the mountain across the countryside. But Sebastian, who by this time has realized his mistake, will tackle this problem as well. Another sign at his mother’s grave makes it clear to him: Alfred must die…