Director David Ondrícek (In The Shadow) uses the July 7, 1961 Dukla mine disaster as the backdrop for this taut family drama-cum-thriller. Here, the focus is on the Slachta family, highly respected members of the mining community near Ostrava.
Burly Milan is a team leader below ground while his petite but commanding wife Marie runs their household with an iron hand. The drama starts as their eldest son Petr drops out of Mine Engineering college in Prague and moves back to the family home with a pregnant Jewish girlfriend in tow, much to his parents' disappointment.
Unwilling to be a burden on his family, Petr decides to follow Milan underground, a choice that his father thinks he will soon come to regret. Meanwhile, at the mine, lax safety standards and an avalanche of critical errors pile up while pressure builds in the shafts and at home.