Slovenian countryside in the 18th century. The future lord of the manor, Ožbej, falls in love with the new maid, Meta. His family, however, is opposed to the match and successfully plots to keep the young couple apart. Although Meta must endure scorn and degradation at the hands of the villagers, Ožbej still cannot tear himself away from her. Five children are born of their union, all of whom are looked upon as bastards by the manor folk. Although driven by desperation to return to the manor, Ožbej still harbours the hope that he will one day be able to live together with his love. Can he survive without the woman he loves and without his children? Will he be able to survive at all?