The film reveals the mechanism that entices human beings to voluntarily turn themselves into submissive, faceless creatures. Thus, they become a resource to be used by the state – a grey lump of ore oblivious to the innate value of their individual life.
The town of Apatity first came into being as a concentration camp. Today, 50 years is considered a ripe old age in the industrial town of Apatity, while the environment is at the brink of an ecological disaster. The adults while away their lives at the factory bus stop whilst the children – the token of their immortality – miss out on family life and warmth. Instead, they are left in the care of state structures that inculcate in them the traits of prisoners, making use of celebration-like dancing and marching trainings. Neither the children nor their educators are aware of this. They are convinced that they are bringing up a generation of patriotic heroes, fated to become legionnaires of the Earth and the adjacent cosmic expanses. The only way out of this system is death. However, if you die for the state you become an immortal hero.
The dancing and marching fall into the conveyor-belt rhythm of the moving trains, full of grey lumps of ore that are also destined for immortality: they will become phosphorus fertiliser on which new life will grow.