Director: Chantal Briet
This portrait of a small grocery store in a tenement neighbourhood contends that utopias can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Amid the charmless, crumbling tenement buildings in a suburb of Epinay-sur-Seine, Ali Zebboudj's grocery store is a rare social space, a gathering point for the disenfranchised locals to talk and share stories.
Filmmaker Chantal Briet follows the day-to-day happenings in the store as charismatic shopkeeper and part-time singer Ali talks with the diverse locals in what is a real-life echo of Smoke's neighbourhood tobacco shop.
Briet's compelling vision of Ali's store is as an oasis of community in an urban wasteland, a space that, beyond its ostensible commercial purposes, offers a more fundamental kind of human commerce.
D Chantal Briet P Ludovic Arnal WS Yenta Production L French w/English subtitles TD betaSP/2005/84mins