Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This film is set in the early 20th century, when a couple and their five children are struggling to wrest a living from the swampy soil near the plains of Slovenia. They are poor, each member of the family has to toil long and hard to make ends meet, and what is worse, they are not welcomed by their neighbors, who call them "polecats." Their poverty can maim and kill: their milk cow has to be slaughtered when she gets terminally sick, one of the sons loses an eye in an accident, and the mother, exhausted from overwork, dies while she is pregnant for the sixth time. Her death puts the family dangerously close to losing their battle for survival, and the oldest son is forced to work for the neighbors in order to feed everyone. That is not the only tragedy that will strike the downtrodden family, and the young children know that between the antagonistic neighbors and the unforgiving land, it will be a long and arduous journey into adulthood.
accident, against-all-odds, bad-luck, death, poverty, pregnancy, survivor, work [occupation]