|Directed by||Vladimir Khotinenko|
|Produced by||Vera Malysheva|
|Music by||Alexey Rybnikov|
The film begins in June 1941 in the backwater Russian village of Tikhoye in Soviet Latvia. Priest Alexander carries out the duties of his ministry, helped by his wife, Alevtina. Two days later the Nazi invaders enter the village. The Nazi invaders are keen to reopen the Orthodox churches closed by the Soviet authorities. Alexander is offered a position at the Pskov Orthodox Mission (ru:Псковская православная миссия) to the Pskov oblast. An Orthodox church building in the village Zakaty, confiscated and turned into a hall for film showings and the like, is restored to its former use, the church bell rescued from the lake etc. However life under the Nazis is ambiguous and the priest must walk a tightrope (metaphorically) between faithful Christian service and loyalty to his country and people. A poignant scene is the Easter service, celebrated along with Red Army POWs surrounded by German guards. Alexander and Alevtina also harbour Jewish orphans. Alevtina falls ill from contact with the POWs and puts the children first by losing herself in a snowstorm lest she infect the orphans. The plot concludes with the Soviet authorities back in power and the priest imprisoned by the NKVD. The epilogue shows the priest decades later, visited by the orphans he saved many years before.
- Sergei Makovetsky as priest Aleksandr Ionin
- Nina Usatova as matushka (priest's wife) Alevtina
- Liza Arzamasova as Eva
- Kirill Pletnyov as Aleksandr Lugotintsev
- Yuri Tsurilo as Metropolitan Sergius
The film fell through at a rental cost of $6.8 million in production costs in all countries of hire amounted to only $1.7 million.