A distant, squalid place that authorities feared and police let be, Montmartre became as important to art history as Athens or Florence (c. 1870-1910).
Why did Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and others live there when young? Why did dance halls like the Moulin Rouge, with their prostitutes and pimps, line the bottom of the hill? Why does the gigantic church of the Sacre-Coeur, which has nothing to do with its surroundings, loom over a large part of the city?
We pass quickly through the tiny area that mass tourism dominates (and show some of it from unexpected angles) to cross invisible frontiers where few visitors pass, to show famous paintings on the sites where they were painted, learn how the cancan taunted authority with every step and discover the explosive origin of the Sacré-Coeur, a matter that most tourism, media and even recent school programs leave out.