The same year the United States embarked on a hellish civil war to abolish slavery, Russia purged itself, without bloodshed, of three centuries of human bondage. But that doesn’t mean the Motherland’s transformation was painless. In liberating 1/3 of the Empire’s population, the Tsar uprooted the age-old relationship between lord and serf as well as the economy built upon it.
In a village no larger than a fly-speck, two families provide a stark dichotomy between the elites and the masses, between the master and the enslaved. With a mutual feeling of having been despoiled, the former serfs and their former masters cast blame on each other. But an inconvenient truth surfaces – the seeds of wrongdoing stem from diverse and far-flung sources.