On the desolate plains of Mongolia, nomadic herders tend to their flocks and congregate in large tents to keep warm and pass away the days. Among these is Bagi, a young man who is dedicated to his mother, grandfather and most of all to his flock, and seems to be plagued with the same affliction that eventually lead to his father’s death. Life is hard for these nomads, but it is the life they have chosen and the life they cherish. That all changes when the government comes rolling in with military vehicles and wild claims that the flocks are contaminated with a mysterious plague and must be contained. The herders meanwhile, are rounded up and brought into a city where jobs await them.
Life may have been tough on the plains, but it becomes almost unbearable for Bagi and his family. Bagi is placed into a mail delivery service, while his mother is sent to work operating a gigantic crane at the coal mine. When Bagi is picked up for stealing, he is placed in a labor camp where he meets a group of dissident youths and fellow ex-nomads who believe that the animals are all safe and that the plague was made up. All the while, Bagi’s affliction, which a doctor diagnoses as seizures, are becoming worse and worse. And it is during one of his seizure attacks, where he drifts into an ethereal state of mind, that Bagi comes to believe he knows where their flocks are being held!
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