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Lev Kaludov (Zahari Baharov), better known as Moth, is an ordinary guy from the city of Sofia. Whilst still at school he falls in love with the beautiful Ada (Tanya Ilieva), later nicknamed Mantis. They grow up together, but city life is hard for young people without much money. Moth falls in with a neighbour known as Slug (Vladimir Penev) and in a bid to make some easy money the three of them plot to steal a black diamond from Vlad the Bijou, the jeweller where Ada works. The robbery is botched, Vlad dies, Moth is wounded and jailed, while Slug escapes without charge; the diamond is never found.
After serving his sentence of 20 years Moth collects his few possessions, including his piece of chewing bitumen, and is released from prison. During this time, Slug has embraced the new regime and now wields considerable power. Aware of Moth’s release, Slug has Moth picked up and attempts to find out the location of the diamond. Moth manages to escape and embarks on a quest to find Ada. It is a crazy journey across a city Moth no longer knows or understands. In the pursuit of truth, Moth runs into a bizarre parade of characters - medics, barflies, outcasts, gravediggers and other species of the asphalt jungle. Eventually he meets the priest that baptised him, who tells him where Ada is.
During their reunion, and still in love with her after all these years, Moth reveals to Ada that he knows the whereabouts of the diamond. Together they set off to retrieve it, but along the way Moth asks to visit the grave of his son. It is here in the bleak, wet graveyard that Moth realises he has been betrayed. Determined not to give up the diamond, Moth attempts to exact his revenge on Slug but Ada, in her final act of betrayal, fatally wounds him.
Moth spends his last few hours on the floor of the gravediggers trailer. As he reflects on all that has gone before, he chews one last time on his bitumen and the truth, finally, is revealed.