Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

The Heat's On
(Travail D'Arabe)

Year: 2003
Country: FRANCE
Run Time: 88 minutes

The literal film title, "Arab work," is racist slang for shoddy craftsmanship, heard by the filmmaker as he and a code-inspector confronted a terrible gas-installation job. Christian Philibert channeled his reaction into one of the sharpest comedy-dramas of working-class outrage since Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar" or Ken Loach's "Riff-Raff" (17th CIFF, 1993). Tossed out by his conservative Muslim father after a pot bust, Momo, an easygoing guy in Provence, southern France, needs a job. Via his sister's connections, Momo gets under-the-table work with Gutti Bros., a once-reliable local HVAC company that has backslid into greed and and malicious incompetence. Instantly "licensed" as a contractor, Momo is aghast at customers conned into faulty wiring and dangerous pipe-fittings. When he turns whistle-blower, Momo finds one unlikely and steadfast ally, but mostly bureaucratic apathy and a mindset that blames him for everything. After all, he was the trainee, the apprentice, the guy off the books...the Arab. Don't say it doesn't happen here! (In French with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Christian Philibert, Yamina Guebli

Producer
Didier Haudepin

Cinematography
Gilles Carries

Editing
Eric Renault

Principal Cast
Mohamed Metina, Cyril Lecomte, Jacques Bastide, Jeanne Dhivers, Didier Becchetti, Jean-Marc Ravera

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