The murder of Olof Palme, the Swedish Prime Minister, took place as Palme was walking home from the cinema after watching The Mozart Brothers in 1986.
The film depicts an unconventional opera director, Walter (Etienne Glaser), who is directing a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Stockholm Opera. He attempts to overthrow many of the conventions of opera; he gives certain solo numbers to the opera chorus, he involves the orchestra in the acting, and he wants to fill the stage with damp earth to simulate a graveyard. The singers, the members of the orchestra, and the staff at the opera house are initially very antagonistic to his plans, especially his appeal to their eroticism as individuals. However, they reluctantly agree to do things Walter's way, and gradually come over to his point of view. Throughout the film, Mozart's ghost is glimpsed more and more frequently, at one point seen weeping with joy at the effect his work has had. The film ends with the premiere of the production being a resounding success, and the actors taking the credit for this, with the director largely forgotten.