Ostrov: Film opens during the Second World War where a German destroyer escort seizes a small barge that transports coal. The crew, two Russians, hide under piles of coal. One, stoker Anatoli, is forced at gun point to give up the other man then to kill Tikhon, his mate and Captain only to be left to die in an explosion. Anatoli survives and is rescued by monks then time elapses to 1976. He now works in the monastery as the stoker of cloister boiler room and conveys a wheelbarrow with coal each day. He sleeps on the heap of coal and even plans to bury himself in the carbon box as his coffin. His strangeness confuse his fellow monks and some call him a prankster. But in each such wild trick there is sense to the madness and unworldly insight. People arrive on the island from all around the region, seeking Anatoli as a Holy man capable of wise advice and able to curse sickness. All the while he suffers, being tormented by sin and guilt from killing his fellow sailor. In the end he learns what true forgiveness means.