Mischa, a mute boy, sets out on a surrealistic journey together with his father and two men. Their means of transportation is an old Soviet locomotive, loaded with stolen coal. The travellers intend to sell off the loot on their way through the borderless steppes of inner Russia. As a parallel to the main plot, sequences of a mysterious travelling circus keep reappearing in a very suggestive way. Many of the odd artists at the circus are people that the four protagonists encounter in the wilderness along the overgrown railway.