S. is an eighteen-year-old baker's apprentice in Orléans. Not for much longer. S. decides to change his life. He wants to make a radical break. Nothing will be like it was before: neither him, nor his relationship with himself and other people. He leaves Orléans for Marseille, where, after a painful initiation, he realizes his dream. He becomes a thief amongst thieves…
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I shot “The Dreamlife of Angels” in Lille even thought I didn’t know the city. The same urge for discovery led me to set the “The Small Thief” in Marseilles. Other factors, though, influenced that decision. The story was harsh in itself, and I needed an environment that wouldn’t exaggerate the social harshness. I needed some sun and some sea (even if you don’t see much of it in the film). I also wanted to work with another kind of light. And then, S. comes from the middle of France, and I wanted him to go to a town where he could meet all kinds of different people. Marseilles is very cosmopolitan, so all kinds of encounters are possible. And maybe also in S.’s mind, Marseilles is a city of gangs, a city that will suit his purposes. Finally, Marseilles is a magic, enchanting city – and, in the end, when things get hot in Marseilles, they get real hot.
Erick Zonca, director