History professor L. M. Rutenburg, a Russian émigré and repented westerner, recklessly fires himself from the Sorbonne to Donetsk, to conduct a research about the economic origins of the ongoing war. There, caught in the grip of the siege, the Donbass Opera company stubbornly prepares for a show: the Swan Lake.
This obstinate resistance of Art against the odds, prompts Rutenburg to move in the theatre. From the bunker under the stage, he writes his memoirs, voicing his thoughts and doubts about the unfolding events.
Losses, fear, lack of funds: every day the project risks to collapse, but the company goes on. At every fall stands up again, but the main threat, to which there is no answer, hovers above the theatre: will the audience attend the show? When the moment comes, the gates open; civilians and soldiers, men and women, elderly and children pour into the theatre. The whole of Donetsk is there. Now, if only for one night, the world’s interests’ engine will have to stop, will have to wait, until the show will be over.
The film is based on real events.