Ok so we have our 12-year old hero (not 14 as it says in the blurb in the film his brother says you cannot leave school as you are not 13 yet) living in Council Housing in Sète with a clan of 3 other brothers and their mum bedridden in a coma in the back room
They are bent on keeping her there and not in a soulless medical institution
One of the brothers deals drugs one is a rentboy/gigolo the eldest is a brute focussed on keeping the show on the road which he does excellently and yes brutally
Never quite clear why but our hero here has been roped into a holiday community service scheme where he gets further brutalized by the supervisor. Brutality is the backdrop the wallpaper of the entire piece with flashes of Love here and there
It paints a world that is ruthless and desperate
So whilst on the holiday community service the young boy hears the strains of opera from a summer class (all girls) led by a professional semi-famous opera singer and this resonates with him as he is a fan of Pavarotti's greatest hits tunes his supposed Italian father sang to his now comatose mother ...
Touching is is not?
And thereafter you are watching a weaving of the two worlds complete with police brutality on the estates and its own native brutality interspersed with Arias .... so yes very Billy Elliot in terms of CLASS and taste contrast
Extremely well-handled by filmmaker and all actors; it was short-listed at Cannes. I am as a spectator seeing more and more really great films coming out of the "Émigration" the Moghrebi diaspora in France (maybe check in my reviews for other titles). The protagonists here are all 4th or 5th generation and use no Arabic at any point and probably know none; they are a French economic underclass with few choices opened to them
This is what makes this tales poignant the chasm between "Les Cités" (the estates) and Opera which is the perceived music of the Bourgeoisie. Nour would be "expected" to listen to rap like his drug-dealing brother but has a taste for Opera (Italian dad)
So it is a cultural code-breaking tale like Billy Elliott. And a moving one.
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A 14-year-old boy growing up in a housing project in the South of France with his four brothers and their ailing mother in a coma.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
1 hr 48 min