A young Algerian, Alilo, visits Paris to pick up a suitcase containing haute couture dresses. When he loses the address of the supplier, he winds up staying for a few days with his streetwise cousin Mok, then falls in love with a beautiful Guinean. Should he stay on in France, or return to Africa empty-handed? Algerian director Allouache provides ironic humour, magical realism and poignancy as he explores the difficulties experienced by immigrants in Paris (racist attacks, deportation orders, run-down living quarters). But while Alilo and Mok are engaging characters, the film suffers from a lack of dramatic focus. Full of heart, then, but underwhelming.
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