Can I sleep at your place?

Antoine de Maximy in North AmericaAntoine de Maximy is a name you’ve probably never heard of. He’s a French man who has travelled the world in an interesting and brave way. With cameras all around him recording his journeys, he asks random people if he can sleep at their place. It sounds mundane but it’s some of the most interesting television I’ve ever watched. He builds connections with the most unlikely of people. Through Antoine’s camera lens, the rest of us get to experience the everyday highs and lows of people from all warps of life.

His full-length film about crossing the US in 2008 aired on French TV this week. I was hooked throughout. The unexpected generosity of strangers and the moments of sadness and reflection were remarkable, and Antoine’s choice of questions sometimes lead to the oddest of situations. “Does you wife wear stockings?” he asked a stranger in his French accent. The stranger nodded and agreed to get him a pair! He hadn’t yet explained that he needed them because his car’s fan belt had broken.

Hearing him struggle to understand ‘Trick or treat’ reminded me of so many similar French language moments for me — that awkward moment when you’ve already asked the speaker to repeat a phrase too many times, but you still don’t understand what’s going on. Seeing him apply his French “why not?”, chilled attitude (like driving right up to George Clooney’s front door just because the gate was open) reminded me of one of the aspects of French culture that I love.

Best of all, it’s on YouTube! If you have time to watch, please do (email subscribers will need to click through to lefrancophoney.com to view):

Antoine has visited many countries, so if you’re wondering how he’d get on in your own country, click around on YouTube and you’ll probably find he’s already been there.

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About

I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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2 comments on “Can I sleep at your place?
  1. Dan says:

    In USA, it displays this message: “This video has content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds”

  2. Wendy says:

    Ah, that’s a pity, Dan. It might be worth searching for ‘J’irai dormir en amerique’ or checking the non-YouTube content on http://www.france5.fr/emissions/j-irai-dormir-chez-vous – I hope you have some luck!

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced professional writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Read more...

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