Iraq, 1959. In Baghdad, rival revolutionary groups vie to shape the future of the freshly-sovereign nation. But to the north, in the poverty-stricken area around Tikrit, the daily struggle is for simple survival. Kaseem – a restless and imaginative young boy – and his parents, a fisherman and his wife, live their lives off the land and the river, their concerns far-removed from the political upheaval of the capital.
One day, while riding his bicycle by the banks of the Tigris, Kaseem discovers a wounded young man washed up on the shore. The man is starving, delirious, and in desperate need of help. Kaseem brings the stranger back to his home for shelter and care, eager to earn the respect and pride of his parents with his good deed.
But his plan turns awry: the stranger repays his benevolence by turning the family members against each other and irrevocably tearing them apart. Kaseem is left devastated, trying to find some meaning in what has occurred.
Forty-four years later, and in similar need of help, the stranger returns to the same riverside village, and by pure chance, arrives once again at the home of Kaseem. Face to face with his childhood demon, Kaseem finds himself caught between his desire for revenge and his need to make peace with the past.