n 1616, when Flanders is under Spanish occupation, the town of Boom, in the midst of preparations for its carnival, learns that a Spanish duke with his army is on the way to spend the night there.
Fearing that this will inevitably result in rape and pillage, the mayor — supported by his town council — has the idea of pretending to be newly dead, in order to avoid receiving the soldiers. But his redoubtable wife Cornelia despises this strategem and organises the other women to prepare hospitality and to adapt their carnival entertainments for the Spaniards (who insist on entering the town anyway).

Overview from themoviedb.org