The film begins on a day of whatever year at the dawn of the third millennium.
‘Ntoni Malavoglia is staring a group of clandestins setting foot in the sicilian coast. On the boat there is Alfio; ‘Ntoni finds out for him a work in a glasshouse and a place in the same alley he lives in with his family.
The Malavoglia are a family of fishermen: Grandfather Padron ‘Ntoni, his son Bastianazzo with his wife Maruzza and their sons ‘Ntoni, Mena, Alessi and Lia.
They own the house and a boat called Provvidenza. A night, Bastianazzo dies in the wreckage of the boat. The family is going to disrupt. Maruzza goes mad, Ntoni keeps writing and singing nonsense silly songs, Mena falls in love with Alfio, Padron ‘Ntoni struggles to make the family stay together, but another wreckage comes and debts wear away The House by the Medlar Tree...