In a mining village layered in gray dust, a man posing as Kim Ki-Young finds refuge from winter and the law. Wanted by the police for an offense he commited under the authoritarian rule of the 1980's, he conceals himself as an odd-jobber in a briquette factory. There he meets old and feeble Shim, heavily indebted Chung, Sooney's mother who must nurse her husband, and little Dae-Sik. He befriends Sung-Chul, an apparently immoral hellraiser with true maternal kindness. When Ki-Young meets Young-Sook, a lonely waitress, their lives get altered in a loving, philosophical manner.