As every morning, François, who is a bailiff, leaves his apartment and his irascible wife to begin his day of evictions. But fate has something else in store for this official on this particular morning, 11th September. As he enters the apartment where he is to serve the eviction order, François is inadvertently taken hostage by a drug dealer and his father. In the twinkling of an eye, the local police superintendent, who is keen to solve the situation as professionally – and as publicly – as he can, mobilizes special units and an entourage of journalists who quickly take up positions around the dilapidated tenement building. Under the watchful eyes of cameramen and sharp shooters as well as those of the bailiff’s worried wife, the fronts begin to shift. What are the incarcerated men up to? Are they dangerous?
The longer the siege lasts, the more the psychological pressure mounts. Roles begin to blur and a huge rift between generations and cultures makes itself apparent. The neighbourhood revels in all the attention that this neglected part of the city is being afforded. But the situation is barely under control and the mood of the people towards the police and the journalists hanging around everywhere becomes increasingly aggressive. There is only one way that François and the kidnappers can get out: if they succeed in instigating a riot they might just be able to escape. But the three men are stuck on the seventh floor. –Berlinale