A young man from North Africa arrives in Montreal to study medicine. In contact with his cousin and two rather shameless young girls, he will question his choices.

It’s not every day that Montreal is filmed from every angle like in Montreal Girls. Salvadoran-born filmmaker Patricia Chica does it nicely in this debut feature, avoiding platitudes and topical photography.

Thanks to this agile camera, we rediscover our city through the eyes of Ramy (Hakim Brahimi), a young North African who came to study medicine in Montreal following the death of his mother.

Housed with his uncle Hani (Manuel Tadros), Ramy will spend time with his cousin Tamer (Jade Hassouné), who spawns with the underground scene, and who plays in a punk music band. It is in her company that he will meet two young girls, Désirée (Jasmina Parent) and Yaz (Sana Asad), who will bring him out of his shell…

The character of Ramy, who has literary pretensions, uses writing as an outlet, but is he really ready to sacrifice everything to become a poet? That’s what Patricia Chica talks about in Montreal Girls. Family expectations, the quest for identity and the search for meaning.

The actors all offer a great performance, starting with Hakim Brahimi, amazing in this first professional role. The young man is very well supported by Jasmina Parent and Sana Asad, both charismatic, who will become in a way Ramy’s “muses”.

The Killing Question: Do We Believe It? The whole section that deals with Ramy’s family and their traditional origins is hyper realistic. The speed with which he surrenders to the pleasures of the flesh and questions himself, as well as the candor of these Montreal Girls, perhaps a little less.

Let’s say that in a miniseries of six episodes, we would have time to see the character walk. Unfortunately, the cinema cannot afford to take detours, which makes certain scenes seem a bit far-fetched to us.

That said, Patricia Chica, who like Ramy visibly has Montreal in her skin, manages to make her characters – little known, but so beautiful and true and representative of Montreal’s diversity – extremely endearing, while making us travel in our own city.