1991. Russia is on the verge of the momentous transformations but in a small Northern town far away from Moscow everything is still the same. 16-year-old Ida has no idea her life is about to take a drastic change. Soon her happy life falls apart when her mother dies unexpectedly of peritonitis.
Ida is placed in the foster care of her aunt, her mother’s older sister working as a cook, whose family has moved from a neighboring village. Her greedy, narrow-minded, and cruel relatives feel completely alien to Ida. Her cousin is constantly picking on Ida’s love of books and the aunt doesn’t let her go to a university in Moscow, after graduating from high school. Ida is devastated – after her mother’s death she’s been dreaming of going to medical school, becoming a doctor to save people’s lives. The aunt gets her hired as a dishwasher at a cafeteria. Ida’s life becomes an ordeal. Even the nest above the window, the one the swallows used to come back to in spring and Ida and her mother used to enjoy looking at, is knocked down. But Ida doesn’t cry anymore, hardening her heart against the blows of fate.
Things take a different turn when Ida’s father, whom her mother never told her about, unexpectedly re-appears in her life. It turns out that he is a famous children’s poet and writer Kornilov. He takes Ida to his luxurious house in the Moscow suburbs.
It seems that this is Ida’s chance to break free from her previous life, but no such luck. Her dad’s wife and her daughter start a war against Ida. The girl relies on her dad for love and support but Kornilov mostly keeps to himself and doesn’t notice how hard the life in his house is on Ida.
The only close person is Roma, Kornilov’s son. A rebel and an artist, he hates the hypocrisy and falsehood of his parents. However, he abandons Ida, leaving for St. Petersburg. Ida has no idea he is running away from the love he is starting to feel for her, his half-sister.
But even alone, Ida doesn’t let difficulties break her spirit. Against all odds, she enters medical school. She is great at her studies, devoting her life to medical science and community work.
When her selfish stepsister plots to kick her parents out of the house, Ida, who has already got married and settled in the same neighborhood, offers them a place to live. She’ll save her stepmother from a suicide attempt, help Roma get rid of his drug addiction, take care of her dad after he has a heart attack, and won’t let sell the family house. All this will eventually make Ida’s relationship with her dad truly sincere and trustworthy.
But at some point Ida will be forced to reconsider her life. She becomes a famous and well-respected doctor, featured in newspapers and TV. Even after having two children, she doesn’t stop working hard and has no time to notice that her success is hard on her husband, who hasn’t achieved much. Then, one day, Sonya appears in their house. She is cheerful and lighthearted, as different from Ida as can be. Ida’s husband recklessly falls in love with Sonya and leaves his wife. Ida actually loses her self-control. She would do anything to return her husband but it’s too late…
Timeslot: Russian One
Available as: format and finished program