A religious conflict characterizes this drama, set in Senegal at the turn-of-the century when the local king becomes a Muslim and decides to break up the small Catholic congregation in the village of the Ceddo. The people revolt against the change and kidnap a princess.
To get her back, the different sides must engage in many meetings which must be handled in the traditional manner. As an interesting sidelight, the film was banned in Senegal because the government disagreed with director Ousmane Sembene's spelling of the word Ceddo. The government insisted that it could only be spelled with one d.