Racism, violence, and drug abuse run rampant in this ensemble drama set in the southern French city of Marseilles. Michele (Ariane Ascaride) spends her days working in a fish factory, where she earns a living to support her unemployed husband and her teenage daughter Fiona (Christine Brucher). In addition to being the mother of a three-month-old, Fiona is also a heroin addict and a prostitute. Thanks to her habit, Fiona is increasingly unable to work, and Michele helps her daughter by exchanging sexual favors for money with Paul (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), an ex-dock worker with more than a few problems of his own. Michele gets drugs for Fiona from Gerard (Gerard Meylan), the sullen proprietor of a small bar who engages in such shady pastimes as political assassination. Meanwhile, Abderramane (Alexandre Ogou), a young African man recently out of prison, finds himself attracted to Vivienne (Julie-Marie Parmentier), a social worker married to a womanizing high-society snob whom she detests. Her spite towards her husband leads Vivienne to claim that she respects poor people who vote for the Far Right more than moneyed individuals who talk a lot about helping the poor but do almost nothing. Vivienne's frustration, coupled with that of the other characters, illustrates the overriding tension that threatens to build to society's collapse.
by Rebecca Flint Marx synopsis