Zanga is driven away from his village on the Niger River as a boy because he was born out of wedlock. After living in the city for a long time and studying there, he returns to his village, now an adult. His return triggers a series of conflicts. He encounters a closed Malinese village community on the Niger River, deeply steeped in African traditions, superstition, and the belief in the spiritual power of the river. "La reine des eaux", the spirit of the river, supposedly turns against the returned intruder. The hierarchical mechanism of a male dominated, misogynist and child-hating society comes to light, which the women in the community eventually rebel against.