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'Aïcha: La grande débrouille' - is well worth watching.
blueboot18 April 2013
This made for TV French drama about life in a tower block is entertaining. A thriving oddball community lives in an 18 storey tower block where the lives of all are blighted by non-working elevators. At first residents hold impromptu meetings that lead only to discontent with one another. No plans are agreed on how to force the tower block company to make the required repairs. However, the key character, Aicha (played by Sofia Essaidi) gains everyone's attention and disgruntled residents start to listen.

Aicha works closely with Ginette (Firmine Richard) her boss, and has a love interest in Patrick. Gradually, Aicha involves more people, while others form a media pressure group 'Elevators for All' who decide to film weary residents climbing the stairs. Patrick gives an ultimatum to Aicha.... their mothers, one of whom is French the other Arabic, must meet or their relationship ends. The mothers do meet though that turns into a calamitous situation when Aicha's father (Amidou) returns home unexpectedly. The elevator parts needed are from Romania, so in steps Ionescu, Romanian ex-lover of one of Aicha's friends. By hook or by crook, the story and the elevators come together well.

Patrick disappears for a time but returns and also finds a way to speed up the elevator repairs, to Aich'a delight. The plot is gentle, witty and unusual in that there are no real dramas except in the daily lives and mishaps of the characters, including one man's dog, too sick to negotiate eighteen flights of stairs, and dies. Even that leads to love when a neighbour many floors below empathises and mourns with him. Well made, with a frenetic dialogue at times and chilled in places too – this story has an unmistakable feel-good factor.
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