The film portrays without clichés the lives of Austrian farmers between 1900 and 1945, Helmut Qualtinger and Helmut Berger head the stellar cast. Austrian history without kitsch.
Apprentice Bruno Melzer is still full of hope that he can break free from the stifling mediocrity of his life. But his dream of mastering his own destiny turns out to be a false utopia. He marries a casual acquaintance when she reveals she is expecting her child. When she falls ill and dies of cancer a few years later, Melzer is forced to assume sole responsibility for his three children.