In the early 1920s, Georges Laffont, traumatised by the horrific trench warfar, decides to leave his life behind and travel to West Africa into the vast territories of Upper Volta in the company of Diofo, artist and also survivor of the Great War. From village to village, Georges uses Diofo's talents as a griot to recruit the villagers as labour for plantations in Ghana.
But his adventure leads him to a dead-end, and he comes back to Paris where is brother Marcel, a war invalid, lives with their mother's. After the war in Europe, life went out without him.
Georges will desperately try to find his place, with the help of Hélène, a sign language teacher with whom he will have a tumultuous relationship, and his family, that he selfishly left behind.
He will finally attempt to heal their wounds, and his.