The film [from the novel by Doris Lessing] depicts Julie Christie as D, an attractive middle-aged woman living alone in the midst of the chaos occurring around her. She dreams of a Victorian time and can go through a wall to witness events.
A little girl, maybe her, is seen in the rich, gilded interiors adroitly given a candlelight feeling by lenser Walter Lassally. The mother is annoyed at not being able to read, work and find herself while the little girl is somewhat neglected by mom and her austere father who at one time contemplates her undraped body while she is asleep.
But reality is grim. A teenage girl is moved in with D and she takes care of her. The girl becomes involved with a young man trying to help vagrant children, living in an abandoned subway station. They have already killed one of his helpers and cannibalized others.
People are leaving the stricken city with some indications of an outside government that gives orders. Strife is not due to any atomic war but just communal life running down.
Christie emerges as a fine character player despite her still potent attractiveness. Director David Gladwell apparently did not have the budget to give a more solid look to the degenerating city.