In this French-Burkina Faso children's drama, a 10-year-old Burkinabe boy finds himself faced with difficult choices when an enigmatic old "griot," a tribal wise man, suddenly comes to call. Up until then, Mabo had been living a fairly Westernized lifestyle with his comfortably middle-class family and attending a modern school during the day. The unexpected visit of the griot Djeliba creates some friction as Mabo's mother distrusts him. Mabo's father, however, decides to let the old man stay. Djeliba explains to Mabo that he has come to tell him about the royal origins of the boy's name and the resulting tale is told via flashback. When the boy interjects, the story is temporarily paused. Many years ago the emperor Mandingo encountered a magical hunter who predicted that the royal heirs will spring from the body of a hideous looking woman who can assume the guise of a wild beast. The boy Mabo is enthralled with the tale and begins ignoring his regular schoolwork in favor of the griot's wisdom. His parents are terribly upset.
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