After a lengthy absence, the actress Irene returns to her lakeside house just outside of Berlin. Then she visits her bigoted brother Alex and her son Konstantin, who wants to be a writer and lives with his uncle. As usual she also meets the girl next door Agnes, who is spending the summer break from university with her parents. Irene has a new lover. Everything seems the same, but different, and yet still unchanged and the same. In her free adaptation of Chekhov's Seagull, Angela Schanelec (who herself plays Irene) creates a possibly less openly cynical yet just as clinical analysis of the lack of social cohesion that results when people are largely obsessed by themselves. Schanelec's characters are imprisoned in their own net, as it were. They withdraw into it, they project it onto their surroundings or they try to get away from it with touching difficulty. Afternoon covers three afternoons during a hot summer. That's all the director needs to record the isolation of each of the characters as an unchanging basis. Acute dialogues that seldom lead to a real conversation and camerawork that mercilessly observes the consequences of this extreme introversion serve to fixate the unbearable weight of human existence.