Lyuda is part of the government of Novotsjerkassk in the Soviet Union in 1962. The political situation is tense. When workers start to protest Lyuda suggests to mercilessly suppress their resistance. By doing so she endangers her own daughter, because she is protesting alongside the workers.
During the Second World War Lyuda fought for Stalin’s ideology. Now she has a good job as part of the government of Novotsjerkassk. She wants to create a better society, but only according to her own rigid views. That results in arguments between her and her daughter, who sympathises with the critical workers.
When the authorities listen to Lyuda and violently break up the protests she is shocked. While trying to find her daughter she sees how a bloodbath takes place. She discovers not everything is as black and white as she initially thought. Shot in beautiful black and white Andrei Konchalvsky brings a forgotten historical event to the screen together with an immersive portrait of a woman whose worldview has been turned upside down.