Lena sits in a wheelchair, which is the reason she ends up in a special class at the her new school, a class especially for children which don't correspond to the norm: These include the vertically-challenged, those with behavioural problems, epileptics and children with Down's syndrome. The teachers as well as the “normal” students rarely miss an opportunity to drive home the fact that they're outsiders, practically ostracised, an attitude which only serves to bring the small group even closer together. Given a warm welcome, Lena manages to fit in well as she joins the group on its forays through town, she can't wait however for the next gathering of the teachers' committee, where a decision is due to be made about her possible transfer away from the special group; After all, she wants to learn and isn't sufficiently challenged by the group's lessons. The same is true of Anton, who draws ever closer to her. Meningitis-sufferer Misha reacts with extreme jealousy to the latter development; Out of a sense of powerlessness and supported by his classmates he turns to ever more brutal methods of vengeance against Lena.
In this coming-of-age tale director Ivan T. Tverdovsky draws close to his young protagonists; Together with his hand-held camera he follows them to the train tracks, where they lay themselves in order feel first hand the fine line between life and death. The film's about more than that however; it also portrays a society in which the people get left behind, creating their own monsters in the process.