Beautiful Sara and her cousin Zina arrive to Paris full of dreams and in Sara's case, also wanting "to learn". She daydreams to become a French Basquiat (the American painter son of immigants who became rich and famous, besides achieving world fame). When taken in by her aunt Brigitte at the restaurant "Fraternity" after being deprived from their passports we know before knowing that the Montreuil suburbs of Paris have nothing to do with the city of light we tourist believe we know.
The film is gritty and violent, offering us a bumpy ride that could take place in any third world suburb. Aïssa Maïga, with looks of a top model, from the film Marie-Line among others, works with also well equipped for the job woman nicknamed "panther", who at a moment says: "I've got some education, I'm not anybody, you know. The girls eat rats and work under constant menaces. Omar, Djibril and fat man Kaba are the brute force, the usual enforcers. But Sara gets some rays of light from unlikely places, from a neighbour immigrant kid whose mother flees when she sees her to basically her first and only fan, Tramson the social worker, who has enough lust and will to help her but "he's no lion" to face all the troubles Sara carries along with her. When he does face up, or at least as much as he can, she says: "you're a lion", to which he replies: "I'm becoming like you". Sara is not an easy woman to help, thou.
There is no family, neither his uncle "Barbes" who says "Paris is hard like stone", her mum Gladys is just too far away. Neither Art incarnated in a famous painter and a cool gallerist really works.
Music is eerie, unnerving, good for the action we witness.
Race wars are present all the time like when she says to Tramson: "You're nice... for a white man", or to her lovely aunt: "Your white chauffeur ... all for nothing".
This film is not for everybody, but you won't forget it easily. You'll never see Paris again in the same way after this!
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