The directors spent a year at a Flemish-speaking vocational school in Brussels, where young students have come to learn a trade. The film both documents and stages their central concerns: assignments and classes, football, romance, finding a place in life.
Work is always on society’s agenda, but is generally absent from most films. This one, however, is all about work. The title refers to the major public works that turned 1950s and 1960s Brussels into a giant building site. These major, post-war works were the advent of an urban planning disaster, the repercussions of which affect the city’s social structure to this day.
The film primarily depicts those destined to do the manual labour in the future. Barry, Mamadou, Abdi and Achmed are pupils at a vocational school and are assigned to execute a few 'minor works': the electrics for a bedroom, installing a video phone. Every pupil has a small wooden cubicle in which they have to carry out these exercises. The cubicles then become stage sets in which the boys play themselves. For a documentary, the staging itself seems conspicuously artificial: nothing but static medium shots from a tripod.