Les Blancs confronts the hope and tragedy of Africa in revolution. The setting is a white Christian mission in a colony about to explode. The time is that hour of reckoning when no one the guilty nor the innocent can evade the consequences of white colonialism and imperatives of black liberation. Tshembe Matoseh, the English educated son of a chief, has come home to bury his father. He finds his teenage brother a near alcoholic and his older brother a priest and traitor to his people. Forswearing politics and wanting only to return to his wife and child in England, Tshembe is drawn into the conflict symbolized by a woman dancer, the powerful Spirit of Africa who pursues him.