Based on a true story this film displays the selfless acts a family must endure to ensure the survival of their brightest. Unable to afford schooling for both of his children a widowed father lets fate guide a spinning ladle toward his only son, Shiwa. While his daughter toils in the fields and at home, fate decides his son is blessed with the opportunity to attend school. With the guidance of his teacher, Shiwa enters a national Olympic Chemistry Competition while in middle school. His first place finish is quickly followed by tragedy at home. Soon he will have to decide between school and his father whose tough love shaped his young mind. Compelling performances by the cast convey the emotional depth of the story a tale that doesn t flinch from the realities of poor village on the Malian River.