The opening scene is worthy of a good old sci-fi blockbuster, a genre Samir Ramdani’s particularly fond of as we saw in La Cellule (FID2020). The director uses the same ingredients: the energy of what are known as “deprived” teenagers, methods and places proud of their meagre means, an electric soundtrack that drapes the sequences with an haute-couture Hollywood veil, and impeccable shots. The narrative is childishly simple: some teenagers have disappeared and Samir Ramdani as a lethargic cop and his boss Samira, played by Leyla Jawad, have to find them. The straightforward script is an opportunity to lay out the filmmaker’s directing to invest the potential of political fiction, with a mastery of situational comedy that’s beyond reproach. Like his previous films, Daw emanates a corrosive humour. Its quirkiness allows it to address France’s taboos and stereotypes about French people of Algerian origin. When Samira discusses the investigation’s progress on the phone with the chief of police, she surreptitiously slips into Arabic, and the film weaves between French and Arabic with acerbic glee. We should add that Samira is gay, and her ex-girlfriend a boxing instructor, and that Daw is overtly feminist and de-colonial. It’s also darker and more hard-hitting than the director’s earlier films. The particular pleasure here is for the children of immigrants, who don’t know the origin of the word “ratonnade” (racist attack) or anything about the police massacre of Algerians on 17th October 1961. Daw takes on the urgency of appropriating one’s heritage and the idea that “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”.