Norbu is a nomad who lives with his wife and his child in the mountainous highland of tibet as a shepherd. He belongs to an ethnic minority and from time to time he sees himself compelled to act as a horse thief in order to provide his family with food. But the day Norbu tries to steal some treasures of a temple the community excludes and banishes him.
Living in exile, he loses his son. After his last theft of a horse he sacrifices himself in order to save his wife and his second child. He starts for the place of the divine burial where the saint vultures will eliminate his body so taht his soul can get to heaven.