The people of the Hamar tribe live in the desert between the Rift mountains and the Omo river in southern Ethiopia, far from modern progress. They are hard-working semi-nomads and the importance of a man is measured by the size of the herd he owns. Time seems to stand still but for the presence of white missionaries and kalachnikovs. Young Guilty is the only Hamar of his village to attend the school of the white Fathers to become the first educated young man of his tribe – even if it means he will have to read the bible. But his only dream remains the ceremony of the leap over the bull, a time-honoured rite of passage for a boy who enters manhood. The whole village gathers to witness his prowess. Should he fail or fall, however, he will be banished from society.