A Muslim frontier guard for the Ottoman Empire in the mid-18th century is faced with decisions that he must make based on his limited knowledge of Turkish law, and of the political and religious tenets of the Serbs on the other side of the border in Bosnia Herzogovina. As a consequence of his ignorance and the harsh laws of the times, he first saves a woman from being raped and then kills her, since she has been disgraced -- an act that was motivated by adherence to the law but that leaves him in a tortured state of mind. In another violent encounter, he captures a few Greek Orthodox monks, burns their Bible, and then kills one of them. His murderous "duties" as a border guard begin to weigh more heavily on his conscience when he falls in love with a woman traveling with others through the country. His violence, willing or not, catches up with him in the end as he comes across the bodies of soldiers that had been massacred, and he must fight the forces that did the deed, no matter what the odds.
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