Set in an indeterminate period, this flawlessly tells a folk tale that has all the elemental power of myth. A humble but respected potter, his wife, and young boy are encouraged by the local chief to leave town to manage a remote desert well and inn for travellers. Slowly, ineluctably, the seductive power of potential riches causes their downfall. First they allow their beloved son to be taken away to be trained as a Seth (merchant). Later, they abuse their reputation of service to prey on their trusting guests. Jha, primarily a documentary film-maker, here serving as his own cinematographer, never puts a foot wrong. he suffuses the screen with colour (gold, ochre, yellows), mines extraordinary performances from his players, and uses faces and spaces to perfection, controlling and sustaining a mood of tragic intensity.