1960, Southern France. Daring Lebrac is the mastermind of a gang of Longeverne schoolchildren which, as tradition dictates, have an ongoing war with the children from the neighboring village of Velrans. The tension between the two clans climbs several notches when one night, Lebrac writes an abusive message on the Velran school's door and Lanterne, his tomboy neighbor who's trying to earn her place in the gang, cuts the buttons off an enemy boy's shirt. Meanwhile, Lebrac's teacher notes his high potential and suggests enrolling him in a school where he can get higher learning. Lebrac's widowed mother, however, needs him to look after the farm and his younger sisters and is not willing to let him go.