When journalist Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) arrives in Jakarta, Indonesia, he has difficulty making contacts. He forms a friendship with dwarf photographer Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt), through whom he meets British diplomat Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver). Bryant falls for Hamilton, and she gives him key information about an approaching Communist uprising. As the city becomes more dangerous, Hamilton stays to pursue the story. However, he faces more threats as he gets closer to the government.