An iconic prologue in 1925 establishes the stakes. As a young boy tends the dry soil of his ancestral home in rural Algeria, French gendarmerie appear over the crest of the hill. With one colonial decree, the officers displace the family from their home forever, setting the tone for this story of struggle and strife. Twenty years later, the siblings have relocated to Sétif, where they now face a daily struggle against French colonial oppression. When the infamous Sétif massacre leaves the family broken and scattered across the globe, the brothers each take their own path to right the injustices inflicted upon their peoples.
Abdelkader (Bouajila), the intellectual, becomes the leader of the Algerian Independence movement, believing all-out war is the only answer. Messaoub (Zem), the eldest, is stoic and distant after returning scarred – both figuratively and literally – from fighting in Indochina. Saïd (Debbouze), the youngest, is an avid boxing fan and dreams of training the first Algerian boxing champion. Unlike the other two, Saïd wants no part of the revolution, and turns instead to pimping and running cabarets in the seedy dancehalls of Pigalle. As Abdelkader and Messaoub become more and more zealous in their quest for justice, the destinies of the brothers intersect and collide in the French capital. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]