Built around a documentary and fictional plot, the film centres on Transnistria, a small country with a complex political and social history, which clearly shows the power play in the region between Russia and its bordering countries, all formerly part of the USSR. Although it belongs to Moldova, Transnistria claims its independence together with integration into the Russian Federation, an aspiration which is recognised neither by the Kremlin nor internationally. This does not prevent the existence of a clear occupation of social, political and economic influence in this small country by Russia, creating yet another constant source of tension in the region.
The film also expresses the confrontation of memory (through literature and monuments) with the decadence of a future, through the character Kolja, who has Moldovan nationality but claims his Transnistrian identity. Symbolically, Kolja was born at the time of the fall of the communist regime and is conflicted by a drifting identity and a feeling of unconditional love for his homeland. Kolja's life is also the reflection of a historical confrontation between East and West, exposing the weaknesses of the project of the European Community in the face of the imposition of a new wave of nationalisms and autocratic regimes.
Extinction is a film which takes a stand, and in this sense allows us to overcome many of the preconceived ideas about Eastern Europe and its recent history, which we see as entrenched in a polarity of communism and post-communism, but which is much more complex than that, and which finds its loudest expression in the divorce of politics from life.