Bosnia, 1992. In the midst of the chaos and suffering of civil war, Sveto's business is flourishing. He is a paralytic loan shark who lives in a house near the border with his wife and daughter, Esma and Jasna.
The women look after him, but he treats them like servants. Sveto earns money buying and selling all sorts of things, objects and souls. The nearby house, linked by a shared courtyard and a well, is inhabited by Jewish glassmaker Leon and his wife and daughter, Rifka and Blanka.
The girl is in love with Ante - an arrogant and superficial lieutenant of the Bosnian army - even though she is promised in marriage to a rabbi of another country. Sveto observes Blanka from afar, fascinated by her innocence, while he takes under his protection the small Sujo, a smart Muslim orphan full of resources. Sujo cares for another little orphan, Kata, a Christian girl victim of the war's horrors. During a terrible storm, the tragedy of Blanka's death takes place, among the crashes of the war mixed with the sound of the thunder.