The year is 1910, and two Antarctic explorers, Watts and Heywoud, are racing to the South Pole. Back in London, Viola, a photo-journalist, harbors love for them both. Though anxious for both men, Viola has little time to pine. She is photographing hunger strikers in the suffrage movement, capturing the female nude in challenging and politically powerful ways. As she comes into her own as an artist, she's eager for recognition and to fulfill her ambitions. And then the men return, eager to share news of their triumph.
But in her darkroom, Viola discovers a lie and she must now decide whether to betray her husband and her lover, or keep their secret and use their fame to help her pursue her artistic ambitions.