As the Second World War burns through Europe, a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl is on the run in the Polish countryside, having narrowly escaped the German soldiers. Now Yael is alone, with only the memory of her brother Josef - fighting with the Red Army far away - to sustain her. Desperate and determined, she seeks shelter on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, and wary of hiding a Jew. But, as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in...and a delicate relationship begins to flourish between them in their private sanctuary.