In turn-of-the-century Russia, an abusive father (A.P. Khristiakov) and revolutionary son (Nikolai Batalov) fall on opposing sides of an industrial dispute. Despite attempts by the mother (Vera Baranovskaya) to mediate between them, the father is killed in a fight between the strikers and the black-legs. When the mother finds guns used by the strikers hidden in her house, she reluctantly turns her son in to the police. However, whilst he is in prison she becomes converted to the Communist cause.