A Russian soldier spends seven years in an Afghan prison. By the time he is released he has become a devout Muslim. This multi-textured Russian drama follows what happens when he finally returns home to his post-Perestroika, Russian Orthodox rural village. Kolya comes from a family of hardworking peasants. His homecoming is joyous as his mother, his older brother and the entire village rushes out to greet him. Things come to a grinding halt when Kolya refuses to drink the proffered vodka. He then informs them of his conversion. The townsfolk are most displeased and he becomes an object of ridicule. The other young men frequently beat him and only Kolya's former lover, Vera, who is more open-minded than the others, tries to accept him. She has a hard time though when he explains the Islamic views on premarital sex. Kolya, himself discovers that he was unprepared for the changes in his village. With newly resurrected free-enterprise, many of the villagers have become materialistic and the town fathers are corrupt. In the story's climax, Kolya finds himself having a final confrontation with a murderous stranger who has come to settle an old score.
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