Loosely based on the novel by Alexei Cherkasov of the same title.
The film is set in 1827 in Siberia. The aristocrat, Loparev, has been convicted for participation in a revolt against tsar. He escapes from prison and takes refuge in a settlement of Old believers, the dissident Orthodox sect hiding in the forests from the persecution of the official church and state authorities. This film first opened the unknown world of the Old Believers, their customs and traditions. The film offers the vivid story of fatal love between Loparev and Yefimia, as well as the description of exceptional Russian characters, it meditates on the inevitable fall of tyranny.
Source : www.lenfilm.ru