Synopsis by Mark Deming
A young woman trying to escape a violent lifestyle is unwittingly led back into it in this drama from France. Desiree (Esse Lawson) is a 16-year-old black teenager living in a lower-class neighborhood dominated by gangs. Hoping to protect herself in a community where street violence is an everyday occurrence, Desiree convinces the gang bangers in her neighborhood that she is the child of Souleimane, a legendary figure in local gang culture who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Desiree gains the respect of her peers, and becomes romantically involved with Toussaint (Tony Mpoudja), a good-looking boy her age whose sensitive side disguises a short temper. Desiree falls deeply in love with Toussaint, and believes they're destined to find a better future, but her dreams are dashed when Toussaint betrays her with another girl; an angry Desiree seeks revenge. La Squale was the first feature from writer/director Fabrice Genestal.