This harrowing period drama sheds light on an under-documented chapter of Polish history: the post-WWII persecution of the Mazurians, the indigenous residents of what is now northeastern Poland. Their immense suffering at the hands of warring German and Russian forces is the backdrop for this bittersweet, finely drawn love story. A prologue set during the failed 1944 Warsaw uprising establishes the film’s tone of savagery, as Tadeus, a wounded Home Army officer, witnesses the rape and murder of his wife, a nurse. After bidding farewell to her brutalized corpse, he dresses in civilian clothes, avowing to leave death and destruction behind. But the retreating Germans lay waste to everything in their path, while the advancing Russians pillage and plunder. Tadeus eventually finds sanctuary on the farm of attractive Mazurian widow Rose, a woman whose body has been beaten, but not her spirit. Drawn together by their sorrows, Tadeusz and Rose form a protective bond that unexpectedly matures into a deep and tender love.