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Mirka arrives into Kalsan and Elena’s lives and turns them upside down. He’s just a 10-year-old child who is looking for his mother, but he carries a secret within himself that brings Elena’s past nightmares out again.
In the mountain village people lead a simple life among nature and animals. But violence is in every word and action and it’s a constant reminder of a terrible and cruel ethnic war that swept the country years earlier.
Little Mirka is chased by a boy gang and eventually manages to hide in a barn. He’s found by Kalsan, and old woman who lives with her granddaughter Elena in the house nearby. The girl is beautiful and is going to get married to Helmut. The old and tough woman doesn’t have the heart to send Mirka away, so she decides to let him stay and tells everyone he’s her new shepherd. Mirka is disliked by everybody except Lili, a dreamy child with lovely blue eyes, and Strix, a gigantic man who catches birds imitating their singing. At home, moods change from loving confidence to rejections. Among the few things that Mirka jealously keeps, Elena finds a piece of cloth with the same animal figures that only Kalsan could embroider: suddenly, terrible memories come to Elena’s minds and she begins to have doubts about the real identity of the child. During an eclipse of the sun, which is seen as a dark premonition, Elena’s past comes out with all its suffering and hate. By the time Elena realises that Mirka is her son, the inhabitants of the village have already identified the child as ‘the different one’, or rather the one who brings danger together with him. At first they react with simple hostility, then pass to real action and throw all of their anger, fear and ethnic hate onto Elena. The hunt for Mirka begins. Elena and Strix are the only ones to support the child whose young life is, once again, in danger.