The first part of a trilogy based on the novel by Alexey Tolstoy «The Ordeal» relating the life of the noble Bulavins family from the beginning of World War I till the end of the Civil War in Russia. Katya, the elder sister being depressed and confused breaks with her husband. Dasha, the younger sister, attends the futurists club. Then she meets engineer Telegin. The World War separates the heroes of the film. Telegin is taken prisoner. After her husband's death Dasha is in depression and only her meeting with Vadim Roshchin prevents her from committing suicide.