Rodrigue and Reine live with their three children in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. They make their living from a meager yield of cassava flour and are very active in the local church, where the battle between God and Satan is central, and believing in evil spirits, curses and witchcraft is common.
Rodrigue and Reine live with a big secret: they both have AIDS. The pastor proclaims in his sermons that the illness is a divine punishment, and this weighs heavily on the minds of the deeply religious couple, especially now that Rodrigue is becoming visibly sicker. They cling to prayers and miracles, seeing every stroke of luck as a blessing from God and every setback as a punishment.
Thus they are flung back and forth between hope and fear, between shame and relief. The towering steel cross that they together hoist in the opening shot of the film is a striking symbol for both the support they find in faith and the burden they have to bear—with increasing despair.