May 8, 1945: WWII is over. Dresden is in ruins. But where are the 2200 paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens, Giorgione, Vermeer van Delft from the Old Masters Picture Gallery? Red Army Captain Leonov and his soldiers have been ordered to recover the lost paintings. During the next five days, Dresden's residents join the search for the collection. A secret Nazi document offers a first lead... This first GDR/USSR co-production-scored by Dmitri Shostakovich based on his String Quartet No. 8-refers to actual events, as the Red Army undertook the rescue of these artworks after WWII. The film does not address the Soviet decision to confiscate many valuable artworks as reparations. While Raphael's Sistine Madonna was returned to its East German museum in 1955, many pieces of art remain in Russia to this day. Five Days, Five Nights-rediscovered by the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 2012-complements Robert M. Edsel's The Monuments Men.