This black-and-white film - the first road movie of Algerian cinema - presents one of the most readily apparent, though subtle, transformations of the daily life of the people of Algeria brought about by the ordeal of French occupation and the war of liberation. With military repression in full force, a peasant woman finds herself alone in her house in the mountains when her only son is taken away by French soldiers soon after her husband is killed in a raid. One day, on seeing a dead chicken, which she considers a bad omen, she decides to leave home, and sets off on a tiring journey through the mountains. With a pair of chickens in tow, she moves from one detention camp to the next in a desperate search for her missing son. The film was inspired by events experienced by the family of its director.