Akira, who lives in the ruins of a building marked for demolition and leads an aimless life, encounters a machine-gun-wielding African American named Gill. He is on the run from military police after fatally shooting a white man. Akira feels an affinity with Gill because of his affection for jazz and black culture, but cannot communicate with him due to his lack of English ability. Their awkward relationship is portrayed as sometimes violent, sometimes comical, until eventually the film dashes headlong toward its tragic climax. Also features the superb drumming of Max Roach.