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'Chouf': a bitter plunge into Marseille's underworld

'Chouf': a bitter plunge into Marseille's underworld
By Euronews

<p>Is it possible to break the cycle and leave behind your tough suburb, your <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/world/europe/marseille-hit-by-violent-wave-of-drug-crimes.html?_r=0">‘quartier nord’ as they call it in Marseille</a>? French director Karim Dridi poses the question in ‘Chouf’.</p> <p>Meaning ‘look’ in north-African dialect ‘chouf’ is the name given to the young watchmen working for the drug dealers. At the age of ten, they earn as much as their fathers do. </p> <p>Sofiane, played by Sofian Khammes, is lucky. He studies in Lyon and comes home for the holidays to visit his family. His brother Slim has become a drug dealer. When Slim is murdered, Sofiane decides to stay and find his killer. </p> <p>After a brilliant opening scene, Karim Dridi, who himself lives in Marseille, plunges into the heart of the lawless northern suburbs of Marseille. It <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/chouf-cannes-review-894498">feels so true</a> that even you, from the comfort of the cinema theatre, will feel ill at ease. </p> <p>Dridi avoids the black-and-white Marseille clichés. He loves his characters, even the most unsavoury ones, most of whom are played by non-professional actors, which adds to the film’s authenticity. ‘Chouf’ is a bitter film, but that was to be expected. </p> <p>Enjoy the movie, have a good week.</p>