A few escapees, consisting of Janusz, Mr. Smith and Valka escape from one of Stalin's prisons. Several people die during their journey. They meet Irena, a teenage polish girl fluent in English and French, who lies about her parents deaths, but joins the group. Soon it becomes apparent that Valka is a lover of Lennin and Stalin and decides to stay behind. The group finds a sandstorm, which causes Irena to get sandstroke. After collapsing multiple times, she accepts her fate and dies. Another man eventually meets the same fate. Mr. Smith (having lost both his own son and Irena) decides to give up, but is persuaded by the others to keep going.
With help from the Chinese, they eventually make it
- Jim Sturgess as Janusz Wieszczek
- Ed Harris as Mr. Smith
- Saoirse Ronan as Irena Zielińska
- Colin Farrell as Valka
To be added