The movie takes place during Russia's civil war between the Reds (Bolsheviks) and the Whites (Mensheviks). Andrejka and Yarinka are a young betrothed couple in the village of Malinovka, caught between the battle lines. Gritsian is the leader of a Menshevik band who are planning to attack the village. Yarinka appeals to the local Bolshevik commander for his faction's help. The Bolsheviks quickly come up with a plan to save the village... but the plan requires Yarinka to enter into a pretend marriage with Gritsian.
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