On the eve of the first New Year after the war: the father of 16-year-old
Sasha heroically died at the front, and her mother steals goods from the
police dining room to feed the family, but is this really important for an
ideologically grounded, young komsomol? Finding the mother in the arms
of another man, Sasha feels betrayed. She goes to the police and writes a
denunciation of her closest relation. “Mum, you will expiate your guilt”, the
girl shouts at the crowd of arrested people, amongst whom her mother is
led away. Her cold heart knows no love and is unable to forgive. Everything
changes with the arrival in her life of a young man, August, who has come
to her native city with one aim: to bury the bodies of his parents killed by
the neighbour and hastily hidden away in the yard at home.
Expiation is given through loss, and through feeling pity; Sasha learns to
forgive and to love.