The protagonists of the film live and work in Kyrgyzstan, a post-Soviet republic in Central Asia. After being part of the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century, the people suddenly find themselves in a new democratic state where they have the freedom to make their own decisions. The film is focused on four main protagonists whose lives are tied to a massive gold mine operated by the Canadian company Kumtor. Each character represents some part of the imperfect transition from communism to capitalism in the 21st century. The central character is a Kyrgyz truck driver named Nurbek – an ordinary man entangled in the complexities of the storyline. We meet the North American CEO who has come to Kyrgyzstan to check on the progress of the mine. Kerim, the spokesman for the company, handles public relations and has the power to fire workers.