According to the eponymous novel by Alexander Dovzhenko. About the childhood of the famous Soviet film director Alexander Dovzhenko, who was born on the ancient Chernigov land, off the coast of the Desna. The film consists of two parts. The first is the world shown through the impressions of the six-year-old Sashko. The second is the recollections and reasoning of Sashko, now an elderly colonel who liberates his native village during the war.