Porn in the Hood: From life in the gutter to porn-star status

The French suburbs make an appearance on Walk this Way in the first feature film written and directed by, and also starring, Franck Gastambide: Porn in the Hood (Les Kaïra).

So, what does ‘Kaïra’ mean? A quick explanation for those not in the know: “Kaïra is slang for thug, or delinquent," the director explains. According to Jib Pochtier, one of the main actors, “It’s tied up with urban culture, with rap and so on. Anyway, it’s got little to do with the ‘nice’ parts of town, because it’s been some time since anyone listened to rap outside the suburbs.”

In Porn in the Hood, Mousten (Franck Gastambide), Abdelkrim (Medi Sadoun) and Momo (Jib Pochtier), our three main characters, live up to the usual stereotypes: high up in their block of flats in the centre of the city of Melun, they are unemployed, live and die by rap, and wear the usual outfit consisting of a baseball cap, a tracksuit and trainers all the time. Having not been very successful with girls, their adventure starts when they read a porn magazine. Their attention is grabbed by an advert for a job to become the latest porn star: in one fell swoop, they could have beautiful girls, limitless sex and easy money. The three hoodies get in touch with the porn producer, who wants to see some demos of their ‘performance’ before taking them on. They have three days to find partners. One thing leads to another, and their search risks taking them much farther than they had planned...

A huge box-office success in 2012 (with more than one million admissions), Porn in the Hood was the most profitable film in France that year. This success didn’t come about by mere chance: Mousten, Abdelkrim and Momo found fame in Kaira Shopping, a teleshopping parody of suburban life and the first web series by Canal+. Appearing along with them are several comics who are well known in France: François Damiens (The Bélier Family), Ramzy Bedia (Don’t Die Too Hard!), Alex Lutz and Elie Semoun. Eric Cantona (You and the Night) and porn stars Rocco Siffredi and Katsumi also make an appearance. The film is also the result of their own experience of city life: Franck Gastambide explains: “We decided to look at the funny side of neighbourhood life (...) which actually seems quite real to me: in most cities, it’s really rather boring; it’s not all gang-rapes and torching cars! (...) I remembered all our trials and tribulations with girls, and I soon realised it was a great subject for a comedy.”

Porn in the Hood, online from 1 September in Denmark, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, is one of the nine movies featured in French Comedies by Walk this Way.

29 September 2015, by Cineuropa