Sabrina and Dorcy are madly in love and want to marry. But sabrina is an arab Muslim and Dorcy, a Christian from sub-saharan Africa. And for their families—particularly slimane, one of sabrina’s 40 brothers—the marriage is tanta- mount to heresy. After nine years of filming and two years of editing, Renaissance man Rachid Djaidani—filmmaker, thespian, novelist and former boxing champ—presents his first feature film, shot in freewheeling style in the streets of Paris. The sustained effort on the part of this polymath, a one-time production assistant on Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine, has since borne fruit, including bagging a Fipresci Prize at this year’s Cannes festival. Yet even more intriguing than the backstory is the story of Hold Back: a lively and thoroughly contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet. Propelled by extreme close-ups and an infectious energy, Hold Back, created under the benevolent patronage of Peter Brook, combines romantic comedy and social chronicle, truth, power, finesse and humour without ever muddying the palette. A vibrant and singular work that stands out in the landscape of French cinema.