La clé de la chambre à lessive
Floriane Devigne & Frédéric Florey
Switzerland, France | 2013 | 72 min
Languages : French, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles : English, French
Frédéric Florey and Floriane Devigne take us on a static journey of discovery into a rarely seen world inside Switzerland: the world of the socially excluded people. It is a rather black comedy set inside the laundry room of a Lausanne apartment block. The foundations of society itself are sketched out or perceived in this microcosm where dirty laundry is almost aired in public.
In order to observe the lost souls, dropouts and socially excluded people who inhabit the "underclass of Switzerland”, Floriane Devigne and Frédéric Florey set up camp in the ground floor of a Lausanne apartment building, in the heart of a district where prostitution is common practice. Even though the camera inconveniences the residents of the building, some of them end up interacting with its discreet and compassionate presence. The two filmmakers rely particularly on Claudina, the only holder of the key to the collective laundry room, so as to engage with the social mosaic that bustles, gossips and squabbles there, such as the woman who abruptly approaches them to tell, in one breath, how she went from “the building of death” (where her husband committed suicide) to a “hell”, before objecting that dirty laundry should be aired in private, and not on television. However, these candid shots of battered lives are effortlessly enhanced by the shot composition and editing choices, with a dose of gentle irony. This tragi-comic documentary does justice to the complexity of its subjects by refusing to look at them from a sociological perspective.Emmanuel Chicon