Illyr, aged twenty, deals drugs on the outskirts of Paris, and is treated like a godfather in his neighborhood. This enables him to support his mother and younger brother, Claquette. Illyr's main goal is to give his kid brother a chance to make it in life. But Claquette wants to go to America for the summer and, unknown to Illyr, decides to make some money selling hash. One day, he's arrested by the drug squad and placed in a detention center where he'll stay till summer vacation is over. . . .
"Making this film required six long years of stubborn struggle. I was twenty-three, and didn't know anything or anybody. I began by approaching producers. Some of them advised me to begin with a short, others thought I was completely crazy. No one wanted to produce the film. I managed to get a grant from the suburb of Asnières, but after only four weeks, shooting came to a halt—the producer to whom I'd given the grant had thrown away half my money. But I was confident, since I now had footage to show. I contacted roughly one hundred producers. No luck.
"After reading Luc Besson's book, 'Le Dernier Combat,' where he tells a similar story, I decided to contact him. Since Besson was preparing a new movie, it proved impossible to reach him. But his father, Claude Besson, received me right away. I lucked into an unpretentious guy who offered me some trust and help.
"Sylvie Blum and Claude Guissard, producers at INA, then helped with the editing and mixing but that still wasn't enough.
"My third miracle was Jean-René de Fleurieu. After seeing some footage, he enabled me to finish the film. And that's how, with a little luck, a bit of foolhardiness and a great deal of energy, I managed to make this film. It may not be a standard or commercial film, but I hope it will be appreciated by people who'll take it as the unpretentious work of a film-maker who wanted to share a special viewpoint on suburban ghettos with the people around him."
(Djamel Ouahab, Director)