A bittersweet comedy set just prior to 1984, during the era of 'practical socialism'. For political reasons, Bedrich Mára (Bolek Polívka) has had to give up teaching at Prague's Academy of Art. He is not allowed to exhibit and has been pushed to the sidelines of interest and lucrative commissions. He and his ceramicist wife (Eva Holubová) and two sons live in a small apartment on the outskirts of Prague. Míla Brecka (Jaroslav Dusek), the school principal, and his family stand in stark contrast to the Máras. Comrade Míla and his ambitious wife (Vilma Cibulková), Bedrich's fellow student from the Academy, have gone with the socialist flow for years. They find justification for their behavior in the usual words: 'Someones got to swim along with them to make things better; someones got to make that sacrifice!'