Two men of a certain age, clearly brothers, inch their way through the room. They are singing. At least it sounds like they are trying to, as their monotone voices occasionally rise and fall.
During their song, they stare apathetically into space without seeing a thing. Alyosha and Petya are blind, and they were born this way. In the next shot, we meet their sister Shura.
Dressed warmly to beat the cold, she makes her way down a typical Russian street: gray, abandoned and full of holes. Like her brothers, she inches along more than walks, and every time a car passes by, she stops dead in her tracks along the side of the road.
When she goes into a store to buy groceries, we realize that she too is blind. Since the death of their parents and her older bother, Shura has been caring for Alyosha and Petya. This family portrait sketches one day in their life, and sometimes it can feel voyeuristic.
As if we are spying in through an open window, because after all, they can't see us. This sensation only increases by virtue of the camerawork, which has every shot being taken from a fixed camera angle, making every action in the film feel even slower.