The Paris suburbs are the city's lungs. And while thousands of workers leave the suburbs for the capital every morning, there's a fraction of the suburban population that rejects this lifestyle. Pierre Cephas is one of those people. Every day, he has to deal with the police, the working world and omnipresent petty bosses. To forget this violent and dangerous world, he seeks refuge with his family or a few friends. A realistic character, he is utterly aware of his social standing. "We weren't interested in showing spectacular violence (the media handle that) but social tension. The suburbs are also a community with a sense of solidarity. Being from the suburbs is also an identity. We get the impression that the "label" has replaced that of the working class."
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Barbès 4 a.m. / Monday, June 12, 1995
"Watch it, you dumb jerk, you're getting glue on my boots !"
Out sticking up posters illegally before the release of "Etat des lieux" ('cause of the very low budget). There we were : Djeff, Patrick, Pete, Djamgo, Mystic, Karim, Rodrigue, Hamouda running all over, hounded by a squad of riot cops. Guess the boys in blue don't like the posters.
Beauval - Artois building 4 p.m. / March 1994
Shooting without permission - No power - We break open the switchgear cubicle... shooting starts... not for long - A look-out warns us - "The cops are moving in" - We bundle the gear into a pal's apartment - We leave the building - The cops call after us - Assan - "Screw the pigs" - Everyone runs - We go into the project - The cop don't - We're home...
This film has changed our lives. We hope audience have enjoyed it. "Etat des lieux" is now on the world registry of films. It's a hit. We're proud of it. We'd like to thank everyone who helped to make the film known : Nella, Maria, Toscan, Antoine, Olivia..."
(Patrick and Jean-François for "Actes et octobre production")