Although Makvala is in love with a young shepherd Onise, she is married to a rich lower ranking bureaucrat Gela Goderdzishvili. She runs away from her husband but the custom of the community make her to go back home. One day Gela encounters Onise at his place and wounds him. The villagers put them on public trial and decide to drive all three of them out from the village. Confessor Onofre finds Makvala half buried under the snow and takes her to his cell. Onise, who cannot reconcile with the idea of Makvala not living with him, finds her in the confessor’s cell and stabs her to death. The Confessor is charged with Makvala’s murder and is sent off to Siberia. However, Onise publicly confesses to the killing of Makvala. Makvala’s husband kills him with a dagger. Gela himself is stoned to death by the villagers. After Onise’s death, the community hears the case for the second time and acquits Onofre. However, it is too late, Onofre dies on his way to Siberia.