Devout Buddhists, Norbu and Dolma live with their young son Tashi in a clan in Tibet. Norbu is a highwayman. After Norbu is charged with stealing from the temple, he and his family are banished. Impoverished and marginalized, they can do little when their beloved son becomes ill. Tashi dies of a fever. After a second son is born, Norbu focuses his every action on keeping this child alive, seeking re-admission to the clan for his wife and child, then risking all to save them from isolation and starvation in winter.