During World War II in the Turkmen Republic of the USSR, a beguilingly innocent woman is left alone after her husband has gone off to war. She plants a tree on desert land and it miraculously blooms as she continues to water it faithfully. The blossoming tree and her own careful tending of other humans in need indicate a nearly divine aspect of her generosity and charity that grows in its own kind of surrounding desert. As she watches over her children, an evil shepherd smears her name by saying that she slept with him. This story reaches her husband's ears after he comes back disabled from the war, and he leaves her and his children in anger and grief. Fortunately, the lie does not stick, as a witness talks to the husband to let him know what the truth really is. The man and wife can be reunited, but fate intervenes as it always does, bringing the symbolism of the blossoming tree back to center stage.
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