Jonathan Swift, writer, politician and churchman, had two great and famous loves. Esther Johnson (Stella), became his lifelong companion after they met in England when he was a young man. Later on in life he began an affair, with Hester van Homrigh, whom he called Vanessa.
Swift's torment in life and death, his 'savage indignation' about the wrongs of the world and remorse for his treatment of these women, is the basis for the behaviour of his spirit when it re-emerges during a seance exactly 200 years later, on the anniversary of Stella's death. At the first seance, a quest begins to uncover the identity of the disturbed spirits in order to put them to rest. Thrown together by this crisis, the spiritualists are forced to confront uncomfortable truths in their own lives.
The film, based on a play by W.B. Yeats, moves elegantly between the 18th and 20th centuries revealing that words have flesh and spirits have substance