The garage, the last bastion of the village

Garage, engines and men

Wednesday July 7 at 11:10 p.m. on France 3

In these villages where nothing is accessible without a car, the garage almost acts as an official building. As important as the school or the hospital, everyone goes there. Claviers (Var) is one of these villages and Christophe, his mechanic, is arguably the most visited store in the area. It must be said that there are not many shops in this Var commune, and since everyone here knows each other, you might as well take advantage of them. So we stay discussing, we take news between two customers, we tell each other the stories of engines and bikes, with a language that only insiders understand, we simply keep the link. Claire Simon, the director, originally from Claviers, has seen her village wither over the years.

The young people leave, the old people die, the businesses close and the village is dying. An insidious melancholy wins the documentary. Transmission is a key theme, embodied by Romaric, 17, a new garage employee. Christophe has a funny relationship with his apprentice, whom he teases more than he trains, at least when the latter is not doing anything stupid. Because Christophe is hot-blooded and fulminates when things don’t go his way. This does not seem to disturb Romaric who works at his own pace, with candor. His reflections make you smile and his happiness is communicated to the viewer when he signs his contract. A happiness all the more touching as it is tinged with bitterness.

For the young generation of Clavésiens, the opportunities for the future seem few. Without Christophe’s garage, who knows where the young Romaric would be? Claire Simon regrets that Claviers has become a place to rest, and no longer a place to live. All the workers are dedicated to vacationers and retirees, only the garage has remained synonymous with activity, and its closure could spell the end of the village.


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