Alvin Moseby is a photographer. He lived in the south during the 1930s, in Shiloh, Tennessee to be exact. When times are tough we often do things for money we wish we hadn't. He was paid by Deputy Sheriff Reggie Kilmore to take photographs of racist deeds which were made into postcards.
Later Alvin leaves his wife, flees Shiloh and moves to New York city. There he finds his artistic calling taking pictures of legendary jazz musicians in sessions. He finds Hattie McLendon who becomes the love of his life. But, the infamous box of postcards follows his every step and haunts his every move. The photographs relentlessly attack his soul.