While awaiting his release from the Soviet detention camp he is being held in, a half-starved refugee (Andras Ambrus) finds that an error has been made and his name is not on the to-be-released list. It is then that he is forced to assume the identity of a dead man whose name is on the list. Ambrus at first refuses, but because he was an orphan and cannot produce evidence of his true identity, he has no other choice. However, when he returns to the outer world and the community he was raised in, he is greeted with suspicion. When he tries to claim his part-ownership of a farm from his adopted uncle, he is refused and beaten by farmhands the uncle sets on him.