The 78-year-old Asbjørn Hall is admitted to the hospital where he is to undergo a surgery in the rectum. As the doctor discovers signs of cancer, he insists on keeping Asbjørn in the hospital for further examination. Asbjørn feels scared and lonely, but then notices a curious painting on the wall depicting a jumping pig with a Mona Lisa-smile. Asbjørn grows very fond of the pig which he feels is becoming his guardian angel and helping friend in his state of fear and loneliness.
Waking up after the surgery, Asbjørn discovers that the painting is gone and that a Pakistani man called Aslam has been placed in the bed next to Asbjørn¿s. Aslam is a Muslim, and it is his family who has requested that the painting be removed as they find the pig offensive and discriminating to Aslam. Convinced that he needs the pig in order to get well, Asbjørn calls his daughter Mona who is a busy, career minded lawyer. Mona arrives and Asbjørn persuades her to help him have the painting hung back up. An argument evolves between her and Aslam's son who is defending his father.
The CEO of the hospital tries to intervene, but it is not until the doctor arrives and informs Asbjørn that he has not got cancer after all, that the fierce discussion ends. Relieved and content with the doctor's news, Asbjørn no longer feels he needs the pig.
After visiting hours have ended and the ward has fallen quiet, Aslam and Asbjørn start to make conversation. It turns out that Aslam is blind.