During a jailbreak, Irish Republican Army terrorist Sean Dowd (Stephen Rea) is one of the few to escape. After fleeing to New York City, he gets a dishwashing job and avoids other Irishmen. There, Dowd intervenes in a fight at his building and is stabbed by the junkie he was defending. His co-workers, Guatemalan refugees Tulio (Alfred Molina) and his sister, Monica (Rosana Pastor), take him in while he heals. When they tell him they're plotting a political assassination, Dowd offers to help.