A film showing professional and social life of a circus staff against the changes resulting from nationalization of the sector. It presents the peculiar characteristics of the circus community, their traditions and work ethics as well as their commitment to their work, which is also their passion. A collective portrait of the circus community, illustrating their professional and private cravings. Pre-war order clashes with the new socialist order in which a circus is to serve as “a facility promoting genuine proletarian culture”.
The year 1948. After the horrific wartime people crave fun and entertainment. A newly re-opened circus performs in the town. Unfortunately the atmosphere in the team is tense because of a conflict between a horse trainer – Chamroń and a lion trainer – Kossakowski. A rope dancer – Wiesia wants to get married and stop working at the circus. Wishing to prevent Wiesia from leaving Kossakowski proposes to her, which does not make her change her mind. The trainer starts dating Hania, a classic dancer whose career was interrupted by the war. Halina wants to dance in the lion’s cage and asks Kossakowski for permission. Conflicts in the team escalate the tension. There’s a brawl. To calm the situation down, director Bartłomiejczyk organizes a meeting. However, the situation gets even more complicated. Everybody bears a grudge and people start digging up dirt about their ignoble pre-war past. An urgent telegram calls Bartłomiejczyk and Chamroń to the headquarters. Chamroń comes back with a new director and becomes his closest and most trusted employee. The new director communicates the new rules and work safety regulations to the staff. Kossakowski does not allow Halina to get into the lion’s cage. The animals are angry and aggressive. The trainer has a problem with controlling them. During the evening performance one of the animals inflicts injuries to his head. Wiesia leaves the circus, the team says goodbye to her. Halina also leaves the team, because she wants to resume ballet dancing. The director blackmails Kossakowski to make him stay. At the end of the season the circus leaves the town.