After his wife's death and the loss of his job, an aerodynamics engineer sets off from Moscow with his 11 year old son for his sister's house in Koktebel by the Black Sea. With no money or means of transport, they drift through the expansive and mesmeric landscapes of Russia at the mercy of chance. The father is content to meander as he tries to rebuild his self-respect, piece together his broken life and win back the trust of his son. Meanwhile, the boy impatiently dreams of reaching the mythic coastal resort to start a new life of emancipation and gliders flying in the wind. When the father meets and falls for a beautiful young doctor, the boy sees her as an intrusion.