Not far from Timbuktu, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people struggle under a regime of terror imposed by invading Jihadists determined to control their faith and threaten their way of life. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even football have been banned and every day the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu, but their destiny changes when Kidane runs foul of the foreign occupants and is confronted by their merciless new laws.