Life without a car has become unthinkable in the country. This also goes for the sleepy village of Claviers in Provence, where Claire Simon went to school and her daughter experienced her first love with the baker’s son. Pensioners and tourists dominate the place today, and the bakery has long since given up. But the heart of the village continues to beat: in the garage. This is where the day-to-day dramas take place, where the weal and woe of its citizens are decided.
Christophe Scalia’s empire is one of men who accept women only as bystanders. Nevertheless, the mechanic and his apprentice, Romaric Rousselle, are quite willing to allow Claire Simon to watch their every move as they handle shock absorbers, spark plugs and brake pads, to listen to their every bantering conversation. They are completely absorbed in their role, turning into superheroes responsible not just for the proper functioning of all the two- and four-wheel vehicles that are so important in the country, but also of the entire village. This is where local politics and family planning, generational conflicts and the economy are discussed, occasionally accompanied by music from Coppola’s “The Godfather” which Christophe has set as his mobile phone ringtone. To make everyday life look more exciting than any fiction through patient observation, that is the miracle of Claire Simon’s documentary work.