Saga (Rasmane Ouedraogo), the wayfarer returned, learns that in his absence his beloved Nogma (Cissé), the girl he has waited so long to marry, has been taken to wife by his father. When a rendezvous is arranged between Saga and Nogma, they realise at once that their destinies are sealed. Committing incest, they know that according to traditional law ('tilaï') Saga's life will be called for. Explosive problems are unleashed. Who will be asked to kill Saga? Will he and Nogma be able to flee and avoid tragedy? Emphatically African, despite Ouedraogo's clear intention to universalise his themes, the story is mythic and simple. What is the role of law in society? To what does one owe one's greatest loyalty? If there are rules in social and moral conduct, are they fixed? The film is shot - with an emphasis on landscape - with a rare beauty, using a spare, ritualised style, aided by a bare and expressive score by Abdullah Ibrahim. Unflinching, almost to the degree of cynicism, Ouedraogo presents a fascinating, brave look at the contradictions at work in his impoverished homeland.