A distinguished drama and considered an important entry in French cinema's new naturalism from one of the '80s most promising French filmmakers, this drama presents a shocking but humanistic look at the tragic lives of impoverished children living in the Paris projects. Bruno is a teenaged boy who has just moved into a high-rise project with his hard-working mother. Barely earning enough to support them takes all of her time. She communicates with Bruno via tender notes. Other than those brief missives and his pet bird, Bruno is alone. The apartment is located in one of the city's roughest suburbs and Bruno's involvement with crime seems inevitable. Shortly after he is befriended by the streetwise, battered and deeply troubled Jean-Roger, Bruno is out thieving, destroying property and harming people with a vengeance. These boys are not devoid of humane qualities. One of their teachers, a young idealistic woman, recognizes their potential and tries vainly to save the boys, but by the time she gets involved it is too late for Bruno and Jean-Roger. Though deep down they may have wanted only love, help and guidance, the brutal, unloving world around them consumes them.
by Sandra Brennan synopsis