Ansis is a signboard artist whose skill is in demand under all regimes: the authoritarian rule of the 1930s, followed by the communists and the Nazis. Ansis is also caught up in a curious love triangle. While in love with a Jewish girl, Zisla, whom he cannot marry for religious and social prejudices, he falls for a Latvian girl, a newcomer in town, who quickly takes initiative in the affair. Ansis’ relationship with the two young women becomes explosive after Zisla falls victim to Nazi persecution. Not only does Ansis have to choose between his two lovers – he literally has to decide who lives and who dies.