Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle. She's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to other prostitutes' children. Momo is the oldest and her favorite, an Algerian lad whom she raises as a Muslim. When he asks about his parents, she evades. As she ages and takes in fewer children, Momo must do more for her; as money is tight, he tries to earn pennies on the street with a puppet. He's a beautiful man-child and Madame Rosa makes him promise that he will never sell himself or become a pimp. Nadine, a film editor, befriends him, and his father suddenly appears. Madame Rosa reaches her last days in fear of hospitals, and Momo must act.