1903, and Captain Lalande Biran, overseeing a garrison on the banks of the Congo, has an ambition: to amass a fortune and return to the literary cafés of Paris.
His glamorous wife Christine has a further ambition: to own seven houses in France, a house for every year he has been abroad.
At the Captain's side are an ex-legionnaire womaniser, and a servile, treacherous man who dreams of running a brothel. At their hands the jungle is transformed into a wild circus of human ambition and absurdity. But everything changes with the arrival of a new officer and brilliant marksman: the enigmatic Chrysostome Liège.