An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio's "Decameron": A young Sicilian is swindled twice, but ends up rich; a man poses as a deaf-mute in a convent of curious nuns; a woman must hide her lover when her husband comes home early; a scoundrel fools a priest on his deathbed; three brothers take revenge on their sister's lover; a young girl sleeps on the roof to meet her boyfriend at night; a group of painters wait for inspiration; a crafty priest attempts to seduce his friend's wife; and two friends make a pact to find out what happens after death. Pasolini is up to his old tricks satirizing the Church, and throwing in liberal doses of life and love
A Mexican community is slaughtered by Confederate troops; the lone survivor, a boy, is taken in by a preacher. Years later, the boy is now a soft-spoken, devout young man with perfect shooting skills (despite being a pacifist). On his journey to help his half-sister out of a complicated situation, he crosses paths with the men who killed his family, unbeknownst to him.
Microphone in hand, Pier Paolo Pasolini asks Italians to talk about sex: he asks children where babies come from, young and old women if they are men's equals, men and women if a woman's virginity matters, how they view homosexuals, how sex and honor connect, if divorce should be legal, and if they support closing the brothels (the Merlina Act). He periodically checks in with Alberto Moravia and Cesare Musatti. Bersani is intrusive and judgemental, prodding those who answer. The film's thesis: despite the booming post-war economy, Italians' attitudes toward sex are either rigidly Medieval (the poor and the South) or muddled and self-censoring (the bourgeoisie and the North).