Tal der Ahnungslosen (literally, Valley of the Clueless) tells the story of a police officer, detective Eva Meyer who, just before her fortieth birthday, is transferred from Frankfurt - in western Germany to her birthplace in Dresden - once behind the Iron Curtain in the then East Germany.
A German-African, she grew up in an East German orphanage, and uses the summer before her transfer to learn about the parents she never had. It is in the archives of the former East German secret police, the Stasi, she learns the bitter truth: she is the result of a one-night stand between a professor's wife, Helga, and an African student, Shepard. Eva decides to visit her mother and finally look her in the eyes. But her courage fails her. She anonymously sends Helga the Stasi files, together with a note that it was her own husband, working as an informer, who prevented her from having any contact with Shepard.
Helga is now forced to confront her past: which leads to an accident which costs Hans his life and drives Helga to flight. At which point Maria, Helga's eldest daughter, reports her mother as missing - to Eva who has now started work in Dresden! This time she is looking for her mother officially. It is only when she stands opposite her as a police officer that the long overdue encounter between mother and daughter can take place.