Filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix followed up the surprise international success of his first feature, Diva, with this stylish but downbeat drama. Gerard (Gerard Depardieu) is a dock worker who becomes an emotional wreck following the rape and suicide of his sister. As his relationships with his girlfriend Bella (Victoria Abril), his drunken brother, and his depressive father begin to decay, Gerard becomes obsessed with finding the man who attacked his sister and spends most of his nights lurking about the scene of the crime. In time, Gerard makes the acquaintance of Loretta (Nastassja Kinski), who cruises by the waterfront every evening in a red sports car. Desperate to pull himself out of his emotional doldrums, Gerard becomes involved with Loretta. Bella, however, is not at all happy about this, and she convinces a pair of strong-arm men to teach him a lesson. Gerard must now decide if he wants to be with Loretta or Bella, just as he's discovered evidence that may reveal who raped his sister. La Lune Dans Le Caniveau received uneven reviews on its initial release and won a French Cesar Award for its production design.
by Mark Deming synopsis