In brief... It's 24 hours in the life of a man who returns after a thirty-year absence to the town where he spent a part of his childhood. Invited "home" to Liévin, in the north of France, as a local boy who's made good as a successful humourist (why he didn't make it sooner is for him due to a misunderstanding), his mission is to sponsor a "white night" organised by the town's cultural centre. From old friends to interviews, from dances to inaugurations, his day gradually gets out of hand to wind up in the middle of the night in the apartment of one of the women organisers of the event, into whose home he sneaks, thinking she's alone.
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"Christian Vincent had a real urge to go to the North. You can feel it when he films the mining villages and the slag heaps ; we're really in the North, we follow the people, we enter their homes like in a documentary. The North is a region with a strong identity. In a café scene, a guy spontaneously shakes our hands before leaving. One might think it an idea of the script-writer to amuse or surprise, but no, that's just how things are here. Today the mines are closed, the region has entered a period of decline, yet there is a hospitality, a warmth in people ; as we can see in the house scene, the door is always open. Perhaps it's because there's nothing left here, that human warmth is so prized." (Jackie Berroyer)