While Daam makes a meteoric rise from deputy to minister of development, grasping Kine continues to gripe about the limits of their wealth. She begins negotiating in secret with a greedy village businessman known as President (Thierno Ndiaye), who has been refused a helping hand from Daam. Kine slips him the ministerial file on a lucrative bridge-building contract, allowing him to clinch the deal over his more honest competitors.
When President puts the funds to his personal use, a public outcry forces Daam out of office. Stripped of his position and dignity, he is ditched by Kine and returns to the village. Gagnesiri stands by him and is ostracized by the local women, who point to her childlessness as the cause of disruption in her family. With Daam giving in to alcoholism and defeat, and the village increasingly under President’s thumb, Gagnesiri heads off alone toward a new life.
The tale comes together in flashbacks recounted by Gagnesiri as she assesses her life on the eve of her departure. But while the stunning Ndaw has a regal physical presence, Absa fails to establish her character as the film’s real center. Consequently, the potential for a melancholy or perhaps empowering closing note in which she cuts loose from her broken husband and home is diluted.
Despite the bitter conclusion of Daam’s rise and fall, the tone here is mainly upbeat. This carries through to the sunny lensing of the coastal location (Absa’s home village) and the exuberant colors of the pic’s art direction and costumes. Songs are used extensively to comment on events via the folkloric device of a troupe of singers wandering through town.