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Isabelle, 45, top ad exec, elegant and refined, leads a selfish and futile existence. One day, in her neighborhood drugstore, she encounters Mado, a tiny, wizened, little old lady.
She escorts Mado back to her house and comes in for a big surprise. Mado Bidois is 90 and her place is a pigsty: filthy, squalid, revolting, awful.
Despite waves of panic at feeling trapped and feelings of revulsion, Isabelle returns to Mado’s place. They have nothing in common, and yet a close relationship develops between the two women. It’s not without friction, however, for the old woman desperately fights for her dignity and autonomy. But Isabelle changes…
This powerful, moving story is also a vivid, colorful depiction of Paris today, focussing in particular on the Belleville neighborhood.