The country mouse, Alilo, arrives wide-eyed from Algiers to do a little business. The town mouse, his cousin Mok, French-born and Parisian to the core, is there to meet him. Alilo loses the address of the guy he is supposed to meet and they spend a frantic week trying to track down the suitcase which he absolutely has to take back to Algiers. During this enforced stay, Alilo's constant amazement reflects the stifling strictures of Algerian society, while Mok's endless survival tricks show up the extreme harshness of life in Paris. Alilo finds true love and misses his return flight, little knowing that Mok, his "pure French" cousin, has fallen foul of the law and been deported to Algeria.
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"Hey, Cousin !" is perhaps (probably) a film on the margins of French cinema... Nevertheless, I shot it in Paris, in the eighteenth district. Something magical was present around me during the duration of the shoot (because of the neighbourhood ? the actors ? the crew ?...), something that reminded me of the atmosphere of Algiers. This non-exoticism... Perhaps that's why, in Holland, a journalist asked me if I had overdone the local colour in my film... Perhaps he meant the colours of the multicultural Paris that I love..."