Ourika: The Source Season 1 – A Gritty Thriller Series About the Arab Drug Mafia in France

SERIES REVIEW – This meticulously crafted series blends political fresco, classic mafia tale, and action crime drama on Amazon Prime paints a realistic picture of the modern Parisian underworld. Set against the backdrop of the 2005 French suburban riots, it unfolds an exciting cop-drug dealer duel, co-written and featuring the immensely popular French rapper.


Originally, Ourika is a lush valley on the edge of Morocco’s High Atlas, a paradise for cannabis cultivation. Now, however, Ourika lends its name to the first series partially created by the French rapper Booba (also known as B2O). In this dark and ruthless drug trafficking series, co-written by former police officer Clément Godart, the rapper impresses us in the role of “Métis,” a true psychopath. A character who enjoys slashing his rivals’ mouths in the style of the “Glasgow smile” while adhering to his own code of “honor among thieves.”

The rapper from Paris’s Boulogne neighborhood was not content with just coming up with the story and taking on a supporting role. He also created the series and produced it, making this series in many ways Booba’s “child,” even though he neither plays the lead role nor writes the soundtrack.



The Real 2005 Autumn Riots in Paris Provide the Backdrop


Ourika’s story begins in the fall of 2005, during the urban riots and police repression. The all-powerful Jebli family, ruling the drug trade between France and Morocco, faces a crackdown by the anti-narcotics brigade. The youngest brother, Driss (Adam Bessa, known from the 2022 film Harka), reluctantly takes the reins. The twenty-something intellectual studying at Sciences Po had envisioned a career as a trader. This plan goes awry—much like Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in The Godfather, but this is not the only allusion to classic films in the series. Driss’s mafia family faces off against William, a young, ambitious cop (Noham Edge, also known from the film Amandiers). Both characters rebel against their milieus, and their intertwined stories unfold in unconventional ways.

B2O and Clément Godart have created a captivating series from the first minute to the last. The suburban story, set in the world of drug trafficking and police, doesn’t give viewers a moment of rest. It has everything: the city, large caliber weapons, ruthless traffickers, sometimes over-the-line cops, gang wars, brawls, chases, and the prison world. Booba also appears as a prison inmate.

The suburban riots are also featured, as the story is set against the real 2005 events in France triggered by the deaths of two teenagers, Zyad Benna and Bouna Traoré, who were electrocuted in a transformer station while fleeing police. These events resulted in guerrilla warfare scenes in several suburban areas.

As described, it sounds interesting, but honestly, it’s questionable what the real events at the beginning add to the story. They don’t bring much to the narrative.



Coppola, De Palma, and Others’ Legacy


Although this crime series doesn’t revolutionize the genre and follows in the footsteps of Canal+ original creations from the 2000s like Engrenages, also written by Marine Francou, or La Commune by Abdel Raouf Dafri, which introduced Tahar Rahim in 2007, it makes a strong impact with its extreme violence and aesthetic execution. Its political realism and cinematic dimension are also noteworthy. Even if the 2005 French suburban riots fuel its intricate story, Ourika makes numerous references to Coppola (The Godfather), De Palma (Scarface), and Michael Mann (Heat). Like Booba’s music videos…

The seven episodes oscillate between classic crime, action film, mafia fresco, and family drama, highlighted by director Marcela Saïd’s striking direction (known for the excellent Narcos: Mexico). The composer Clément “Animalsons” Dumoulin—Booba’s faithful partner for four albums—composed a minimalist and anxiety-inducing soundtrack. Has Booba, at 47, found the best way to reinvent himself artistically? His screen career is certainly more than convincing.

The visual aesthetic is superb, and the soundtrack enhances the mood. The seven episodes are thrilling, twisty, and atmospheric enough to binge-watch in one go. This dark crime series is certainly not a tourist postcard of Paris, but if you’re curious about the real France behind the clichés and enjoy the genre, we highly recommend the first season of Ourika.

-Herpai Gergely (BadSector)-



Ourika: The Source Season 1

Direction - 7.5
Actors - 7.8
Story - 7.2
Visuals/Music/Sounds/Action - 7.6
Ambience - 7.5



Ourika: The Source is a dark, exciting, and authentic thriller and mafia film series that captivates viewers with its gritty realism and aesthetic sophistication. French rapper Booba reveals a new side on screen, delivering a credible performance. The series' tension, profound characters, and exploration of social issues make it a must-watch.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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