Immediately before a global catyclysm, Anna and her family arrive at their holiday home in the countryside only to find it is occupied by a family of complete strangers. The occupants refer to the cataclism and tell her the rules of society no longer apply. Then, without provocation, Anna's husband is shot dead. Anna and her two children flee and roam through the woods. At one point, they reach a shelter, filled with hay. They decide to spend the night there. Ben, the youngest child, still seems in shock, and he no longer speaks. At night, he disappears, and in a panick, Anne ventures out to find him. His sister lights handfuls of hay with a lighter, hoping the light will attract her brother. Unfortunately, sparks set the shelter on fire, and the building completely burns down. Ben re-appears the next day. They move on and reach a railroad with some kind of farm building next to it. Although they aren't really welcomed by the occupants, they are tolerated and allowed to stay. A boy tells them that a train sometimes passes there, and they hope to stop that train in order to travel on it to a better place. In the mean while, one man, Koslowski, at leasts tries to uphold some laws and rules there, but people are desperated, cold and impolite. Anne's daughter, Arina, makes friends with a young runaway. When he is suspected of theft, he must leave the compound. Arina keeps giving him food, while he hides in the woods. Her brother, Ben, eight, hasn't spoken since he witnessed the murder of his father. They start a daily routine, with people joining in the chores, such as collecting firewood. A couple of days later, a large group of people arrive at the compound. Strong in number, they use the farm' s facilities. Then Anne makes a shocking discovery: one family of the newly arrived are the ones who were occupying her holiday home and who killed her husband. Although most people believe their accusations, as their emotions are genuine, there is no proof, it is their word against the word of the other party. A make shift judge declares there's nothing he can do. At night, with so many people around, Arina and Ben can't sleep. They witness how a young girl is being raped, while a knife is being held to her throat. The girll commits suicide the followign day. Another family, Polish immigrants, are accused by the newcomers of being thieves, and the husband is almost lynched.
That night, Ben, who overheard a lore about 36 angels jumping into fire in order to save society, builds a fire, takes off his clothes and prepares to jump in the fire. A guard manages to save him with a trick. In the struggle that follows, Ben's shouts and screams. These are the first words he speaks since his father's murder. The guard holds him in his arms and tries to comfort him.