Screening in the presence of the screenwriter The story takes place in the mid 1930′s in a godforsaken small town. Ivan Lipshin is director of an investigation department, who devotes his life to the pursuit of criminal gangs. Upon arriving at the age of 40, he wants a family of his own already, but the actress of a local theater, who in the beginning encouraged his courting, confesses that she loves another man. German enhances his unique cinematic form, and creates a soundtrack from word segments and noises that block the dialogue. Picture editing is dictated not by the pace of events but rather by the internal rhythm of the hero. The story is told from the point of view of a child who lives with Lipshin in the commune apartment. Since the child could not be a witness to a large part of the events, a feeling is created that the things were or only could have been. The same form of testimony will repeat itself in his next film, Khrustalyov, My Car!