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Khamsa

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by Karim Dridi

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Placed for his own protection in a foster family, 13 year-old Khamsa runs away and goes back to the Gypsy camp where he was born. It’s early summer, the season for diving parties in the Estaque naval shipyard, nightly card games and pinching things from neighbours’ homes . Along with his cousin, the dwarf Boyard, Khamsa buys a fighting cock. They dream of riches and freedom. In the meantime, he gets up to mischief with his childhood friend Coyote. They meet Rachitique, a young Arab from a nearby housing estate. Very quickly, the reckless trio go from stealing scooters to burgling houses. However much he kisses the little hand of Fatma that he always wears around his neck, the protection and good fortune it is supposed to bring do not materialise.

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