The film is set in a colourful Burkina Faso village dotted with termite mounds, and a mosque made from clay that resembles a gigantic hedgehog. The village is a symbol of green Africa, a time capsule that nonetheless is not immune to the influences of the outside and ‘modern’ world.
Au Sénégal, la lutte est un sport très populaire. Nalla et Sory vont participer à son univers, mais proviennent de mondes différents. Nalla, dix-sept ans, est issu d'une famille aisée de Dakar et, par l'intermédiaire d'André, qui le défend lors d'une agression, est poussé à s'investir dans ce sport. Sory, vingt-cinq ans, revend des billets d'entrée dans les arènes pour le compte d'une bande mafieuse. Deux itinéraires, pour découvrir la lutte de l'intérieur et de l'extérieur.
En 1810, des centaines d'esclaves se retrouvent à bord d'un bateau négrier qui relie le Sénégal à l'Europe. C'est pour eux le début d'une terrible traversée. Arrivés à destination, les esclaves découvrent leurs conditions de vie déplorables.
Des tirailleurs sénégalais venus des colonies de l'Afrique-Occidentale française, anciens combattants de l'armée française et prisonniers en Europe durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, sont rassemblés avant leur démobilisation en novembre 1944 au camp de transit de Thiaroye au Sénégal. Soumis à divers humiliations, ils apprennent enfin que le montant des indemnités et pécule qui doit leur être payé (arriéré de solde, pécule, prime de démobilisation) sera divisé par deux.
The film is the story of Alassane’s mother, who has been waiting for her husband for 20 years. It is also the story of his sister, who also waits for her husband who left five years ago, and his niece, who does not know her father. After a two-year absence, Alassane Diago returns to Agnam Lidoubé, a Senegalese village in the Fouta region, to try and understand why and how his mother has spent all these years waiting.
Ramata is a spellbindingly beautiful woman in her fifties. She has been married for thirty years now to Matar Samb, a former prosecutor who is now the Minister of Justice. They live in Les Almadies, an elegant neighbourhood of Dakar. Ngor Ndong is 25. He is a young, strong, mysterious man with no fixed residence and an occasional petty crook known by the police. One evening, in a taxi that Ngor Ndong just happens to be driving, Ramata agrees to follow this young man to the Copacabana. She then begins a new life.
The city of Dakar grows at an infernal pace. Everywhere buildings are being constructed. Occasionally, the deafening noise of the planes disturbs the stillness of the birds that stay on the top of the buildings; they take off and fly back to rest. Africa wants to develop itself at all costs; but we do not need to lock ourselves inside buildings, since the sun shines almost all year round.
After two pregnancies out of wedlock, Faat Kiné has earned a place for herself as a successful gas station owner in patriarchal Senegalaise society, raising her two children alone and providing fully for their needs.
In Dakar, selling newspapers on the street is an occupation always occupied by boys. But one morning, Sili, a young beggar, challenges that exclusive rule. Her age is uncertain, between 10 and 13, and she walks the streets with the help of her crutches. She begs for help in the same spot the boys sell their papers, but today they attack her and she falls, rolling over and over. That’s it; she too will sell newspapers starting tomorrow.
Mossane (Magou Seck) is a beautiful 14-year-old girl from a rural Serer village, beloved by many including her own brother and Fara, a poor university student. Although she has long been promised in marriage to the wealthy Diogaye, Mossane defies her parents' wishes and falls in love with Fara. On her wedding day, she refuses to marry Diogaye and tragedy ensues.
Marigo the musician dreams with his instrument – a congoma – confiscated by his landlady because he never pays the rent. He gets hold of a lottery ticket and decides to put it in a safe place while he waits for the draw: he glues it to the back of his door. The night of the draw, fortune blinds Marigo, he is the proud owner of the winning ticket. He already sees himself as a millionaire, with a thousand congomas, an orchestra and a private plane… He even has visions of the charismatic Aminata Fall, symbol of capitalism in Africa. But there is small problem; the ticket is glued to the door…
Hyènes (Hyenas) tells the story of Linguere Ramatou, an aging, wealthy woman who revisits her home village of Colobane. Linguere offers a disturbing proposition to the people of Colobane and lavishes luxuries upon them to persuade them. This embittered woman, "as rich as the World Bank", will bestow upon Colobane a fortune in exchange for the murder of Dramaan Drameh, a local shopkeeper who abandoned her after a love affair and her illegitimate pregnancy when she was 16.
In Senegal, sometime after the establishment of a European presence in the area but before the imposition of direct French colonial administration, the Ceddo ("commoners") try to preserve their traditional culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When local king Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo abduct his daughter, Dior Yacine, to protest their forced conversion to Islam. After trying to rescue the princess, various heirs to the throne are killed, and Demba War is killed during the night. Eventually the kidnappers are killed and Dior Yacine is brought back to the village to confront the imam, just as all the villagers are being given Muslim names.