Twelve years ago Anya and Zhenya had a daughter, Nadya. They were very young, and their life soon became a problem. Zhenya ended up in jail, and Anya and Nadya ended up living with Zhenyas family.
During the twelve years that have passed, Anya has done quite a lot of changes in her own and Nadya’s life, some of them involving Zhenya. The first time Zhenya went to jail – for beating Anya – he didn’t have to stay that long. But the second time he was sentenced to four years, for rape.
During most of the twelve years Anya has worked with Zhenyas mother in their shoemaker’s workshop. Zhenyas father, a retired policeman, has come and gone in the shop, taken care of his granddaughter, but also had a relationship with Anya. When Sasha, Zhenya’s father, beats Anya and ends up in prison, Anya finally leaves Zhenyas family. She has divorced Zhenya and has found a new man, with whom she and Nadya lives.
"Once There Was Love"is the final piece in the multi-award winning trilogy chronicling a tale of a one-time middle class Russian family whose life is slowly coming apart at the edges. Covering the 12 years since the birth of baby Nadya, this film builds upon the previous films, including the Prix Italia-winner "I Love you Natasja", and offers a dramatic story from small town Russia.