Set at the height of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s. District Officer (Bob Peck) and his wife (Phyllis Logan) attempt to maintain order in the dying days of English colonialism. Out of charity they employ a...展开little boy, the son of a local family as a kitchen toto, and the child forms an unequal friendship with son of the household. The father is a District Officer who is attempting to keep order on behalf of the colonial forces, the mother is a bored housewife, who pays the servants with bad grace. Their son cuts up snakes and runs free in the garden, he makes friends with the kitchen toto. In the meantime the Mau Mau get at the kitchen staff and make them swear the oath to behead a white man, the District Officer is a target. He and his wife struggle in Africa, she with her racism and both with their marriage. He is having an affair. Whilst he is away, the Mau Mau attack, they come into the house and drag the mother from the verandah, in a panic the son grabs his rifle and attempts to shoot the attackers. He shoots his mother dead instead. The finger of suspicion points at the kitchen staff and the kitchen toto, who decides to go on the run. In order to pursue his family's attackers the District Officer, brings in Masai trackers. They have no racial or tribal axe to grind, but neither do they show any mercy. They trap the kitchen toto on bridge over a river, before the District Officer can stop them, they shoot him. The film is the story of well-meaning incompetence and colonial arrogance in the last days of British imperialism. The film combines a scathingly realistic portrait of an unhappy embittered marriage with an engaging, if doomed, portrait of childhoods in colonial Kenya.