Two people with a similar fetish for the exotic Asian fabric have an odd relationship in this off-beat French romance set in 1914. In the beginning, Marie enters a Paris department store and carefully heads for the fabric part. With cat-like caution she moves beside a bolt of silk, suddenly pouncing upon it, slashing the fabric with a straight razor and the pressing its cool satiny smoothness to her body until she faints with pleasure. Upon regaining consciousness, Marie finds herself booked for shoplifting and sent to a psycho ward where she meets Doctor Gabriel who asks her surprisingly intimate questions about her fetish for stealing silk in public. He seems to relish every erotic detail. Knowing that she is unable to control her passionate urges, she decides that she needs to be imprisoned. While serving her time and finally leaning to read and write, Dr. Gabriel fights the Germans in North Africa. A wound prompts his discharge and this gives him the chance to pen his case study of Marie, "The Scream of the Silk." The newly literate Marie reads the article, sees herself and sends him a heartfelt letter of thanks. Gabriel responds, confessing that he too is a 'silko-phile' with a similar obsession. Via their letters, the two slowly fall in love while Gabriel's doting housekeeper watches over him.