Zhenya and Boris are about to get divorced. As they are trying to sell their apartment, their relationship has reached a poisonous stage. Both have already started new relationships and they are fully invested in making it work this time. Their 12-year-old son Alyosha is the loser in this painful process. He seems to be ignored and unwanted, and one day he just disappears.
Zhenya and Boris have to cooperate in order to find their son.
On one hand, the film is a social-realistic drama, but Zvyagintsev also turns it into a kind of Hitchcockian thriller. The title is not just about the couple’s relationship and their son. This is above all a comment on a corrupt Russia and its crisis of empathy. Zvyagintsev’s films have become regular part of TIFF's program, as all his feature films to date have been screened, most recent LEVIATHAN (2015).