On the eve of her 8 year-old daughter’s coming of age ceremony, Helen, an Ethiopian immigrant living in Los Angeles, travels to her husband’s workplace to share her doubts about getting the girl’s genitals cut. Finding her husband dismissive, Helen returns home to comply with her mother Sara’s wishes to uphold tradition. Helen and her daughter, Mimi, are about to set out for the operation venue when Helen’s friend turns up to dissuade her one last time from going through with it. Helen shuts her friend off and heads out with her daughter. They arrive at the beauty shop where the clandestine cutting is about to take place, but Helen changes her mind when she hears her daughter scream in terror as the blade approaches her. Grabbing her daughter out of harm’s way, Helen carries her out of the beauty shop and all the way home, resolved to face the wrath of Sara. When they get there, Helen is moved by her own mother’s ability to understand her dilemma. Helen lets her guard down, and Sara manages to lock herself in the bathroom with the little girl in order to carry out the cutting herself. Helen’s resolve to stand up to tradition and her mother is tested one last time as she breaks down the bathroom door to save her daughter. She grabs her away from Sara. Helen and Sara stare each other down as Helen tries to calm the girl down with a lullaby.