Marcel (Andre Wilms), an elderly shoe shiner, becomes a protector a young boy, Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) who is being smuggled from Africa to London. Marcel, along with his local community, shelter the boy from the police, particularly Inspector Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin). Marcel learns from Idrissa's grandfather that the boy's father has died, but the mother is making money in London.
Meanwhile, Marcel's wife Arletty (Kati Outinen) is terminally ill and lies to her husband. Marcel continues to help Idrissa, unaware of his wife's illness.
Marcel is able to get the money available to smuggle Idrissa to his mother but Monet shows up. Seeing the boy, Monet then lies to his fellow officers, saying the boat is empty, allowing it take off. Marcel, surprised by Monet's mercy, offers him a drink in gratitude.
Marcel goes to the hospital, only to find his wife's bed empty, apparently having passed away from her sickness. However, as he is led to the doctor, he finds Arletty, alive and cured. The universe, rewarding his selflessness towards Idrissa, has healed his wife in return. The happy couple return home.
Thanks Tim (Spectre)!