by Merzak Allouache
Omar, an unstable and lonely teenager, lives in a slum in the suburbs of the Algerian port city of Mostaganem. He is addicted to a well-known psychotropic – Artane, nicknamed ‘Madame Courage’, which is very popular among young Algerians for its euphoric effect of invincibility. Omar is a specialist in snatching. This morning, he goes downtown to go about his usual larceny. His first prey is a young girl named Selma, who is walking with her friends, prominently wearing a gold necklace. As he commits his crime, their eyes meet.