A young anthropologist, Zdenka, moves with her husband and three sons to Svalbard, Norway, to study how life is changing in polar regions. She has received a prestigious two- year grant to carry out extensive research on the impact of globalisation on the inhabitants of the world's northernmost town, Longyearbyen. After falling in love with her new home, Zdenka discovers that more than icebergs and permafrost are vanishing in the Arctic. Through conducting interviews with residents, she begins to perceive how heterogeneous the small local community actually is, while also revealing tensions that lie beneath the surface. Zdenka then has to work out the extent to which she can get involved in the local community that she only originally intended to observe.