Follows the twists and turns of Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein's tumultuous career. In the early twenties, Eisenstein falls under the spell of revolutionary theatre's master Vsevolod Meyerhold, then fearlessly turns to the new medium of cinema to depict the story of the failed 1905 revolution. The ensuing work, "Strike", a masterpiece of the artform, solidifies Eisenstein's reputation. Soon, however, his strong will is confronting the equally unbending force of the Soviet state. Nevertheless, Stalin allows him to travel abroad. His flirtation with Hollywood results in another masterpiece, "Que viva Mexico!", but it is an unadulterated disaster on all other levels. Returning to Moscow, Eisenstein is confronted by his critics, who try to control his individuality and make him recant his 'mistakes.' It is then that Eisenstein takes on his boldest project, the audacious "Ivan the Terrible", which holds up a daring mirror to Stalin.