Ivan Gromov (Dmitri Soloviev) is the grandson of a military fighter pilot. The film explores the years of Ivan's adolescence through the prism of a trauma he incurred during an incident in the war when a parachute with a cartridge fell on his head. Subsequently, he is forced to tell the story of his life to an army psychiatrist. This device allows ironic distance on the part of the I-narrator Ivan to the events told in the ensuing retrospective of the film. Soloviev further parodies the events through the use of music and intertitles with high-browse quotes on everyday events. In the style of Assa and Black Rose, Soloviev here again manages to portray an accurate, yet ironic picture of the young generation in the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union. While in Assa and Black Rose he was referring to the present, he demonstrates in Tender Age his ability to use the same devices of film narrative to portray the past.