Grands travaux

Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes

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.

Screenings

  • Cinerama 4
    English subtitles
    Fri 27 Jan Buy
  • KINO 2
    English subtitles
    Sat 28 Jan Buy
  • LantarenVenster 5
    English subtitles
    Sun 29 Jan Buy
  • Cinerama 7
    English subtitles
    Tue 31 Jan Buy

More information

Filmmaker
Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes
Premiere
International premiere
Country
Belgium
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
101
Language
Afrikaans, French, Dutch
Producer
Bart Van Langendonck / Savage Film
Production Company
Savage Film
Sales
Savage Film
Cinematography
Olivia Rochette
Editor
Dieter Diependaele
Sound Design
Gerard-Jan Claes
Cast
Mohamed Mohamed Abdi, Ahmadou Oury Barry, Mamadou Diallo, Achmed Xussein
Website
http://www.claes-rochette.be/work_detail.php?work=grandstravaux