Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' first film is a poetic, existential drama that explores life, death, truth and redemption on a journey through the rugged and unforgiving Mexican landscape. The film follows an unnamed, middle-aged artist (Alejandro Ferretis), who is tired and disillusioned with life in Mexico City. He travels to the countryside where he plans to kill himself. Here, he meets Ascen (Magdalena Flores), an old widow who lives by herself in the mountains, and he takes up lodging with her. Ascen is uneducated, but has a profound understanding of life's problems. Her ability to transcend them is far superior to that of the intellectual Ferretis; her limitless generosity and kindness help him find the will to live.