In a peaceful and functional reception center for Ukrainian refugees—a former Wehrmacht military barracks—the children are left to their own devices. Three friends teach each other German words, a boy mends a bicycle tire, a teenage girl and her toddler brother talk on a smartphone with their dad back in Kyiv, a girl chalks on the curb, “Putin, stop killing people.”
The camera explores the grounds and examines the buildings—the somber gray façade, the walls inside. Sometimes its gaze, as innocent as that of a child, dwells on a detail—the statue of an eagle on the wall, a painted war scene in a classroom, a sticker of an American army unit on a window. Witnesses from another era.
Meanwhile, the children play, or sit on the grass eating out of a bag of strawberries, which taste sweeter back home. In the evening it is quiet.