István Semetka, a simple farmer drafted in the Hungarian army, finds himself witness to a mass murder.
It was neither his decision to kill the residents of the village, nor did he agree to it being done.
The year is 1943. His unit is searching for partisans in a vast muddy marshland within an occupied Soviet Union.
Before the massacre, he is sent away by a superior officer to search the woods. On his return, he sees the burning barn. It is the barn where he gathered the villagers.
He is unable to do anything about it.
He does not say a word about what happened. He does not report to anybody. He believes he did not have any other choice.