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13-year-old Benjamin is a little soldier at war with life, adults, and himself. A tormented, highly sensitive child, he's been in and out of children's homes since he was five years old.
One day his mother is sent to prison and she reveals that Benjamin has a father. From then on, Benjamin's aim is simple: to get out of the children's home. When social workers give him a choice, he decides to go and live with the father he's never met.
His father, Karim Zeroubi, is forty years old, works as a packer at city hall, and lives with his parents in the highrise suburbs on the outskirts of Paris. He's a broken man, who has never managed to get away from the projects. He's happy to live or, rather, to wait for death.
Benjamin's arrival turns Karim's life and the family dynamic upside down. The boy's violence and extreme fragility frighten his new family, who have no idea how to handle him. Benjamin, an emotional whirlwind, reawaken his grandparents Kader and Zohra, who have been in a state of grief for years.
As he wanders through the projects, Benjamin crosses paths with Claude, a poet who lives in a trailer in the middle of a wasteland. Their relationship consists of surreal and poetic exchanges; they are both artists.
Little by little, Benjamin opens up to the world and to his family, but, above all, he discovers himself, and his art.
We encounter the other inhabitants of this neighborhood, among whom Nounours, the superintendent of the building where Benjamin's family lives, and Karim's friend, who has also never managed to leave the projects and who hides a dark secret. There's also Monsieur Teddy, an elderly, racist West Indian who doesn't like Africans and throws bags full of excrement on their heads.
Another central character is the highrise project, this block of concrete is full of lost hopes and gentle complaints, but also the laughter and dreams of all its inhabitants.