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Jane has a secret: she has a son by André, but he never gets to find out. The action starts in America when the son is an army cadet. Jane is writing a letter to him in which she will recount the whole story. The film switches back and forth between Moscow (eventually Siberia) and the USA as Jane's "voice over" reads from her letter. By the time she reaches Siberia after André has been condemned to hard labour there for 10 years, she is too late: he has a new woman and three children! Jane departs in haste, never to return. During the 20 years covered by the film, she never seems to get older, either!