Respected and idolized, Father Adam has an unconventional approach to being confessor and confidant to teenage boys who live in the reformatory he heads; he runs and he likes rock music.
He struggles to maintain appearances as a local woman seduces him, driving him to drink. However, as he develops a growing mutual intimacy with introverted Lukasz, a handsome long-haired youth placed under his supervision due to an accusation of arson, he begins to struggle with a spiritual crisis and his sexual feelings.
Initially, Father Adam’s commitment to celibacy prevents him from acting on his urges, but as he vacillates between repulsion, desire, and vice, rumors begin to spread through the conservative community and his future in the school is threatened.
In lieu of a predictable damning criticism of modern day Catholicism in light of recent scandal, director Malgoska Szumowska approaches a very taboo subject with empathy, compassion and even humor. This is a particularly unusual, complex look into a struggling inner world from Poland, a country not renowned for queer cinema, but which provides a stunning pictorial backdrop to an individual crisis of faith and desire. It questions, "A very up-to-date commentary about the present situation in Church" as said by the director of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, Dieter Kosslick, during the world premiere.