The fictional Western African country Nayak is on the brink of peace between 'Le Presidente' and the leader of the rebel faction. A night to celebrate this possibility is planned but not goes according to plan.
With some 20 shorts and documentaries to her credit, Fanta Regina Nacro makes an impressive feature debut with this simmering insight into the tribal hatreds that threaten to keep Africa a divided continent.
There's a Shakespearean feel to the feud between the governing Nayaks and rebellious Bonande and the careful delineation of the key players prior to the crucial peace ceremony gives the film a theatricality that, ironically, makes its formalities and tensions seem all the more authentic and unnerving.
What's even more noteworthy is that the entire male cast are non-professionals drawn from the Burkino Faso army. The shadow of genocide hangs over proceedings and the climactic tragedy is all-too inevitable. But Nacro astutely ends the picture on a note of quiet optimism that suggests the possibility for peaceful co-existence.
Theatrical in its style, this has an intensely authentic feel and promises much for the future from this promising director.