Set in a sleepy provincial town at the height of summer, the film has a deliberately small canvas: a boy Stefek, his teenage sister Elka, their mother who runs a grocery store, a photo of their father and a train station. From this Andrzej Jakimowski manages to create a personal universe from which he has made a delightful, bittersweet and comic film.
Stefek is convinced that the man boarding a train every morning at the same hour is his father, who had left home before he was born. Elka has suffered too much from her father's abandonment and doesn't wish to hear about him. Elka has taught Stefek how to bribe fortune through tricks to make it go in the direction he wishes, and the boy's obsession is to find a way to bring his father back to his mother. Helped by two figurines of soldiers, he feels empowered enough to make it happen. Stefek provokes fate and fiercely tries to organize events in order to make his wish come true, with touching and poetic results.
With its uncanny evocation of childhood and childhood emotion, the film is widely regarded as the best Polish film for some years.