Astrophysicist Sasha Greenberg returns to Moscow after immigrating to the US seventeen years earlier. Formerly branded a traitor by the government, he is now seen as a hero. The period of "Perestroika" (The Restructuring) has turned everything upside down. In the midst of all this turmoil Sasha is expected to deliver a lecture on a theory that makes sense of our universe. His wily but supportive mentor, Gross counsels Sasha to continue along his path, to ride out his personal and professional problems in search of a brighter future.