The film is based on the works by Russian writer Anton Chekhov. This is a picture of life of the Russian gentry in the late 19th century. Without a grain of sentimentality, the director reveals the moral bankruptcy of his heroes. A village teacher, Platonov, is undergoing an emotional crisis. He believes his life has had no purpose. He is tormenting both himself and his young wife, Sashenka. The film's other protagonist - Doctor Terletsky - hates his patients and his work. The guests staying with a general's wife, Anna Petrovna, are talking about the pleasures of a simple village life, not really believing what they are saying.