A middle-aged Bulgarian is watching the change of the guard in front of the Buckingham Palace. For no apparent reason, while looking, in his mind he gets back to his childhood in the little Bulgarian village, he grew up in. Different rites, different traditions and still he finds something in common. He recalls the people he knew, he feared or admired. He ponders over that life of no brilliance, where people plough, harvest, marry and die, celebrate or grieve. Miracle are also worked, conceived in a unlimited child's imagination. It is the child's perception of the world that helps us to give a meaning to the major questions of human existence.
It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the soldiers wake to the sound of guns - the war has begun. The Finnish troops attack and quickly move across the border. The young, nervous rookies of the company get their baptism of fire, and the men become familiar with death and the hardships of war. Under strength and badly equipped they fight a superior enemy. The lists of heroes and of the dead seem endless. Edvin Laine's epic interpretation of Väinö Linna's war novel "Tuntematon Sotilas" is an entire chapter in the book of Finnish movie history.