As the Second World War encroaches on the Moscow suburbs, four children are sent out into the countryside to stay with an old family friend so that they are safe from the attacking Germans. As they settle into their new home, a visiting aparatchik catches the youngest of the four children reading bourgeois literature and after a brief show trial she is taken away to a labor camp where she manufactures ball bearings for T-34 tanks. Being a 6 year old child used to a comfortable life she is unfit for the brutalities of the labor camp and soon slips into a delusional fantasy world - complete with fauns, witches, and a giant talking lion - which she has constructed as a coping mechanism. Meanwhile her siblings go without food for three weeks in order to save a stash of ruples with which they hope to bribe the correct officials and get her released from the camp. Unfortunately the amount does not suffice and so they too are sentenced to hard labor after being charged with bribery. Upon being reunited with their younger sibling they are at first shocked at her delusional state and attempt to bring her out of it. But as hard the realities of the camp settle in they too succumb to delusion and so too begin to see themselves living in this fantasy realm, engaging in an epic conflict of good and evil - obviously influenced by the corrupt Tsarist folktales they had been fed as infants - defeating a wicked witch and emerging victorious as Kings and Queens, living happily ever after in their delusional fantasy world as their bodies succumb to fatigue and malnourishment.
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