Violeta, a teen who lives in a riverside village in Mali, has only an arranged marriage with a lascivious old man to look forward to, and decides to run off to a faraway place. Meanwhile, in neighboring Niger, mechanic Buba is a skilled soccer player. His brother Mukela suggests he should try his skills in Europe. Violeta meets the two boys when they're all loaded on a large truck, with many others, in central Niger. The route is across the pitiless expanse of the Tenere desert toward Morocco, via Algeria. They're dropped off in the desert a four-hour walk from Tamanrasset, in southern Algeria, but end up going round in circles, and the horrors begin to mount.