An impressionistic look at the life of Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, 1889-1966. It begins and ends with footage from her funeral, and includes readings from her diaries and of her poems. Also included are passages of official Soviet criticism. She was born near Odessa, married and published her first volume of poetry in 1912, was a friend of Blok, Mandelshtam, Pasternak, and Solzhenitsyn, and recounts an extraordinary day with Marina Tsvetaeva about a month before Tsvetaeva's death. Her husband Nikolai Gumilyov was shot in 1921, the same month Blok died. Her only son, Lev, was imprisoned in the Stalin era. Recognition came after many sorrows, too late to be sweet.