Switzerland, 41 min
A minuscule bar-grocery in the industrial city of Kawasaki in Japan is the meeting place for regulars busy drinking cans of beer, chatting about this and that, and betting on bike races. The velodrome is nearby and, in the gloom of the neighbourhood, represents the only external space, the only escape for the men who gather at the bar. The nine keirin cyclists lined up on the starting blocks or on the track, in their gaudy coloured outfits, pace the days with rigueur and break up the discussions. At the bar, the subjects always seem to be the same: the bets, the time that passes by, the cherry trees in blossom... And yet, it is a den of reunions, a place of interludes in the dreary everyday routine. They get a little drunk and they share something… “I like things that float because, in water, I sink” confesses the manager. For him, as for his customers, the cyclists attached to their pedals, unflappable as they speed by in line, are a bit like a lifebelt, and the velodrome like a boat.