Tolomush Okeev’s adaptation of a Kirghiz folk epic purveys the same obsessional attachment to physical extremity and suffering that’s characterized Soviet cinematic sensibility since the punishing days of Stalin (the films of Shepitko and Klimov are latter-day renditions of the type). A band of hunters search the high mountain slopes (much of the film was shot at snow-line altitudes) for food for their starving tribe, but the group’s refusal to observe ancient tribal customs threatens their enterprise with disaster.