Jakub Luukas, who had gone to Africa as a christian missionary shortly after World War II, returns to the small Estonian island where he was born more than 70 years ago. Since it is now being used as a testing-ground for bombs, it is completely deserted. With a horse and three beehives, Jakub lives here in complete isolation, dreaming of translating Vergil’s pastorale “Georgica” into Swahili. His life changes when a young, mute boy comes onto the island: even though they both live in completely different internal worlds.
In August, 1991, Estonia reclaims its independence from the USSR and brings to its national bank nearly $1 billion in gold bullion hidden in Paris for 50 years. Russian mobsters have a bold plan to hijack the gold after shutting down the capital’s power at midnight. For this they need Toivo, an electrical technician. His wife is pregnant and she urges him to take the job (“$5000 buys lots of baby food”). After Toivo leaves for the plant, his wife goes into labor. Birth and blackout happen simultaneously; the baby needs an incubator, but there’s no power. Jealousies within the Mob undercut the plan’s smooth operation, and soon the Mob has Toivo to deal with as well.