With a nod to the lunar-obsessed lyrics of Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, the acerbic tale focuses on the capture of the moon by the Micheluzzi Brothers while Ivo, newly released from a mental hospital, tries to seduce Aldina Ferruzzi with whom he's infatuated. Although she wants nothing to do with him, Ivo equates her blond beauty with the moon, the origin of his madness and frustration. During the attempts to woo her, he meets various madcap characters including an oboist who sleeps in the local cemetery, a man whose hobby is meditating on rooftops, and Gonnella, the ex-prefect fired for his rising paranoia. Gonnella makes Ivo his lieutenant and together they investigate the "wild conspiracies" going on around them.
The oddball pair attends a farcical beauty pageant where Aldina is crowned "Miss Flour of 1989" and ends up lost in the farmlands among graceful African women chanting in the moonlight. Inside an abandoned warehouse, they discover an Inferno-like disco of fashion victims bopping deliriously to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." Ivo realises that Aldina's shoe, obtained surreptitiously, fits every Cindrella who tries it on. To the dancers' stupefaction, Gonnella orchestrates a waltz but is thrown out after smashing the disc jockey's cache of records.
Meanwhile, the three demented brothers have caught the moon using gigantic farming equipment and roped it down in a stable. What ought to be a sacred event becomes a squandered opportunity as priests and politicians turn it into a conference for official propaganda voiced to the assembled public. The conference rapidly degenerates into violence by a madman with a pistol screaming, "What am I doing here? Why was I put here in the first place?" leaving Ivo Salvini with the film's last words: "If we all quieted down a little, maybe we'd understand something."