Alilo (Elmaleh) arrives in Paris from Algiers on an errand from his fashion wholesaler boss. He must collect a consignment of clothes, but he's lost the contact details. It's the weekend, so he's stranded on the streets until he remembers cousin Mok (Hattou). Mok seems to have it made, with his hipster clothes, his own flat and an upcoming gig as a rap artist. By his side, Alilo feels like a real country bumpkin, yet the more time he spends around this self-styled city slicker, the more he realises that the Parisian dream can easily turn hollow. This is no dogged social realist trudge through the immigrant nightmare. There's much sly comedy as we gradually see through Mok's motormouth bragging, a touch of tingly romance as Alilo starts making eye contact with Mok's West African neighbour Fatoumata (Berdy), and a sturdy narrative line that builds up tension the closer Alilo comes to delivery day. The performances never mistake insight for exaggeration, and the rich camerawork refuses to settle for off-hand grunge. Most memorable of all is the film's feeling for those Algerians who can never return to their ravaged homeland, but know they'll never truly be at home in France.
Cast and crew