Paul (Dominic Guard) is a journalist who is up to date on the latest horrors of the modern world and is heartsick about them. He has a wife (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and a steady job but leaves both of them suddenly for parts unknown. His wife is worried about him, and she is angry that he left without a word. She is sufficiently concerned to seek out one of Paul's former flames (Angela Molina) for information about where he might have gone. Soon, this girl has joined her in a quest to find Paul.
In the year 2000, Jonas is 25 years old and lives in Ireland. Disillusioned with his life as a pub barman, he decides to give up everything and live with a mysterious old man, Yoshka, at a run down garage in the middle of no-where. At first, the old man taunts Jonas, giving him useless tasks to do, such as attending a derelict petrol pump.
Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they're writing a teleplay about a minor but curious event in which either her uncle was wounded while cleaning his rifle or she shot him. Pierre is a free-lance journalist hired to write the script; he's short of time so he asks a Bohemian poet friend, Paul, to help.
Julie, young coloured women from Rose Hill on the Island of Mauritius, arrives in Switzerland to marry Marcel whom she has only seen on a photograph. But the marriage is a failure. Julie who feels totally lost is looked after by Jean who has fallen in love with her. From now on she lives in the home of Jean's grand-mother, who is called Jeanne. She is an old, handicapped lady and Julie waits on her. Julie becomes pregnant…
This story is set in Lisbon on the last Sunday in July, between midday and midnight. Time has unravelled, dissolved in the oppressive heat. Past and present merge into one. The living and the dead meet and settle accounts. In the footsteps of the poet Fernando Pessoa, in a desolate Lisbon, between dream and reality, people from the present and ghosts from the past converse in a manner both grave and light-hearted, and shrug off their burden of regret between midday and midnight of the last Sunday in July… “In REQUIEM, Tanner’s classic frontier assumes an exclusively temporal, inner connotation.