Being gay in Tennessee

5:09 a.m. on November 16, 2014, modified at 11:55 a.m. on June 20, 2017

In Martin, Tennessee, everything is rolling for little Chip, 6, a kid already endowed with good humor and, above all, two dads who love him and who love each other. The situation seems well established and accepted until the day when Cody dies suddenly. Collapsed, her partner, Joey, suddenly finds himself confronted with his sister-in-law, who challenges him to keep the child …

By flashback, the whole history of the couple formed by Joey and Cody will be reconstituted, dissected, and Joey’s place within it will end up being contested. We then understand that the latter, of Asian origin, entered Cody’s family just after the death of Chip’s mother, was only admitted there. And that he remains alone if not undesirable in the absence of his lover: his integration was hanging by a thread.

Without ever stating the words gay, homosexual or marriage, nor even reminding us that gay marriage remains outlawed in Tennessee, one of the most conservative states in America, it is a drama as edifying as it is romantic and singular that puts on stage Patrick Wang, man of the theater who signs his first feature film.

Son of Taiwanese immigrants

Although not autobiographical, his point of view has the merit of being based on nuanced and nonetheless sharp personal observations, largely inherited from his experience as the sons of Taiwanese emigrants who fought to find their place in the United States. . “There is a lot to learn from people who know how to navigate the storms of existence,” he says, adding that he has no children, does not live in a relationship and has never lived in Tennessee. “I thought of my dad for the scenes where Joey gets lost in legal twists and turns. He’s propelled into uncharted territory, dependent on the kindness of strangers, but with a little luck and a lot of hard work, he eventually finds its way. “

Crossed from start to finish by this figure of a weakened but always dignified and determined father, the film finds its breath and its originality in its way of putting into perspective the characters who revolve around it, all torn between their discomfort and their compassion. Not necessarily overly specified but observed with patience and never caricatured, these protagonists gain in depth even though the story does not always go with the back of the spoon, first by completely evacuating Chip’s mother. , then over-emphasizing Joey’s courage in the face of adversity at times. “I chose to make these characters experience the events that put them the most to the test, which would reveal the most of themselves, the worst as well as the best,” said Patrick Wang for his part.

The final scene, depicting a tense reconciliation between Joey and his in-laws, is uplifting and successful in this regard. It clearly interweaves family law and the personal history of a son of immigrants, bluntly suggesting that one discrimination may hide another. However, she does not seek to overwhelm Joey’s in-laws, only to reveal her. “When I tell a story, continues Patrick Wang, I try to think as little as possible about what I already know, and to question myself, on the contrary, about others.”

In the Family *** by and with Patrick Wang, Sebastian Banes, Trevor St. John. 2h50.

Source: JDD paper

Saft completes its lithium-ion battery plant in Jacksonville, Florida

The French battery champion is in the process of finalizing a third production line at its lithium-ion site in Jacksonville, in northern Florida. With a production capacity of 2 million cells per year, or 6 times that of its “mother” factory in Nersac (Charente), “it is the largest factory in the group, and the most automated”, appreciates Bruno Dathis, CFO of the group and interim chairman of the management board since the sudden death at the end of September of the previous boss, John Searle.

With this new line, Saft fulfills its obligations to the Department of Energy (DOE). The Frenchman received $ 95.5 million in subsidies from the United States government, almost half of the investment required for the construction of the site started in early 2010 and whose first batteries were released in January 2012. Saft was one of the nine companies to have benefited from the 1.2 billion dollars in subsidies devoted to the battery sector as part of President Obama’s “American recovery reinvestment act” (a plan to revive the economy launched in February 2009).


“The DOE is quite happy with us”, slips Frank Cecchi, head of the group’s lithium-ion activity. Conversely, other “Obama factories” like that of the American A123 have not given satisfaction. This start-up in the sector had sparked controversy in 2012: its workers played video games for lack of orders to fulfill. It was then bought by the Chinese Wanxiang. “It’s not all to have a factory and to manufacture parts, you have to have products!” Bruno Dathis points out. For this, it is necessary to master on the one hand the electronics and the software which are necessary for the control of the delicate chemistry of lithium-ion and, on the other hand, to have worked upstream with the customers to meet their needs with this recent technology.

Saft has been working on this technique for almost twenty years and has been mass-producing batteries of this type since 2009. Collaboration with its customers on high added value solutions is written in its DNA. Result, “lithium-ion accelerates the group’s growth, which stood at 12.8% (excluding currency effects) over the first 9 months of the year, after organic growth of 7.5% in 2013“, welcomes Bruno Dathis. The manager expects a turnover of between 660 and 680 million euros in 2014 and an Ebitda of between 102 and 105 million euros (about 15.5% margin).


Saft has successfully taken the lithium-ion shift “, congratulates Franck Cecchi. “And we are only at the beginning”. This technology only represents 18% of the group’s sales. While Saft’s more traditional markets (nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries, non-rechargeable) have good growth prospects, it is the lithium-ion market that should grow the fastest, believes the firm. Saft fully intends to take advantage of this by not changing the strategy that has been successful so far: targeting high added value niches.

The French wants to develop lithium-ion applications in aeronautics (emergency power), rail (traction power), electric or hybrid industrial vehicles (buses and forklifts), back-up power for stations telecoms in emerging countries. Lastly, and not least, those for the storage of energy from the electricity grid to support the development of renewable energies. It is out of the question for this mid-sized company to face the Japanese and Korean lithium-ion giants in their field: mass markets such as consumer electronics and, tomorrow, the electric car. In lithium-ion, Saft is more than a French champion: it is the champion of the West against Asia.

From Jacksonville, Manuel Moragues

“We want to have everything cleaned up in five years”

Face to face, two buildings of about twenty floors vanish and burn on the arid soil. Under the blows of cranes and excavators, their red bricks are shattered. Water cannons find it difficult to contain the clouds of dust that emanate from the debris, making the atmosphere even heavier.

In the streets of Detroit, the main city of Michigan, the fallen queen of the auto industry declared bankrupt in July 2013, the scene is now as common as the assembly lines of Ford, Chrysler or General Motors were. The images of ruined buildings have almost become the essence of this city of past industrial excess, gradually abandoned by its demiurges.

A paradise for lovers of urban exploration that has become the nightmare of the inhabitants, who rub shoulders with post-industrial atavism every day: buildings squatted by dealers or prostitutes, wild dumps where tires and garbage pile up, empty buildings that the sun pierces before returning, at night, to the dismal lair from which the inhabitants advise to move away. In some neighborhoods, life subsists only in fragments. One or two homes inhabited here or there. Then wastelands, abandoned factories, charred mounds, desolate land. The rubble of an economic war that devastated Detroit and a lasting stain on the city’s reputation.

« Shrinking City »

The city wants to dismantle this past which compromises its future. The Detroit Blight Removal (literally: “remove the rust”) Task Force, a coalition of public and private authorities brought together by Barack Obama in 2013, identified just over 80,000 dilapidated structures, according to a report published in May. This figure, however high, does not frighten the public authorities. “We want to have everything cleaned up in five years”, says Brian Farkas, director of special projects at the city’s buildings agency.

But, a sign that times are changing in “Motown” (the city of the automobile), today we advocate “green” demolition. “Recycling”, “recovery”, “deconstruction”: so many keywords that punctuate the speeches of those responsible for this titanic project. « We don’t want to be like in the past : destroy buildings and leave construction sites lying around for several months until illegal dumping multiplies, says Brian Farkas. We have a real opportunity to achieve something interesting from an environmental point of view. “

A monumental undertaking awaits Detroit. At the height of its past excess. About a third of the residential stock is uninhabited, because, in half a century, “Motor City” has lost a large part of its population, becoming “Shrinking City”, the shrinking city. The old banner of the American dream numbered 2 million inhabitants in the 1950s: today, only 700,000 people inhabit the desert streets. A skin of sorrow that the subprime crisis in the summer of 2007 continued to shrink.

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Justice approves the plan for Detroit to exit bankruptcy

“What happened in Detroit must never happen again “. It is by this sentence in the end, judge Steven Rhodes on Friday 7 November, concluded the chapter of the most painful parts of the capital of the american automobile, on a judgment approving a plan to exit the city from bankruptcy.

After a little less than sixteen months of negotiations, the justice has given its green light to the renegotiation of the huge debt of Detroit, considering it legally reasonable, just and fair for the thousands of creditors of the city.

Read (edition subscribers) : How to Strait account restructure its debt

This plan aims to put an end to the vicious circle in which Detroit came back in recent years. The collapse of its population, the reduction inexorable tax revenue at the pace of industrial decline, ubiquitous corruption and mistakes of management had led the city to bankruptcy.


The plan provides for the erasure of almost one-third of the debt ($7 billion of the 18 billion accumulated over time). In return, the city’s finances are put under surveillance, while the administration will be the subject of a comprehensive restructuring. A portion of the available funds ($1.7 billion) will be invested in the services completely decayed, such as firefighters or the police. Here, it is necessary to repurchase the vehicle, then re-level it services become obsolete. The plan also provides a pane real estate to rehabilitate some 80,000 buildings have been abandoned due to lack of resources.

Judge Rhodes warned the city’s mayor, Mike Duggan, so as not to spoil the opportunity of a “new start “. “It is now time to restore democracy to the people of Detroit “, he launched solemn. “The inability of Detroit to provide municipal services to the more essential “ is a situation “inhumane and intolerable, which must be adjusted. This plan solves these problems “said the judge.

Read also (edition subscribers) : The difficult rebirth of Detroit

It is the fruit of a real balancing act between the requirements of the different parties, an equation which has still a lot of unknowns. Retirees of the municipal services have thus had to accept a significant drop in their pension. Decrease of 4.5%, not to mention that they will not be indexed on the evolution of the cost of living and that the reimbursement of health costs will now be less generous.

Solutions are inevitable to cope with a serious imbalance : the municipal services have two retirees for an asset. A situation that is explained by the dramatic fall in numbers, which have shrunk by 53 % since 1970. The retirees of the police and firefighters have also agreed to sacrifices, even if those are less important : their pension will be lower than 2.25 %. Of the conditions that were approved last summer in a referendum.


This lesser evil was obtained great a “great bargain “who has been able to achieve thanks to the contributions of private donors and the State of Michigan, which will inject 816 million in various pension funds of the city for a period of 20 years. A negotiation which also allows to save the museum of Detroit and its prestigious collections.
Creditors are also required to make substantial efforts.

And sometimes the pill has not been obvious to swallow, such as for the insurer Syncora, which will only get hold of finally, 14% of his bet. With another creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., the group had tried to show that the procedure was illegal because it favored pensioners to the detriment of creditors. But they have come to accept this plan, as the two main exposed banks, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“Detroit has a great future “, is now offering Rick Snyder, the republican governor of Michigan, during a press conference on Friday while stressing that“there’s still work to be done “. It is the least we can say. Almost everything is back on foot in this city which, in sixty years, has lost half of its population. A year ago, 40 % of streetlights were not working and the response time of police to emergency calls was on average 1 h 30. Since then, significant progress has been made, ” says Kevyn Orr, the public administrator appointed by the governor in April 2013 to negotiate with creditors. A thousand new street lights have been installed, the responsiveness of emergency services is improving little by little and hundreds of ruined buildings have been demolished.

On the legal front, Mr. Orr gave the control of the city mayor, Mike Duggan, who remains under surveillance. Over the next decade, the city will be accountable to a Commission charged with overseeing municipal finances. It will be flanked by an investment committee that chapotera the two pension funds of the city. Judge Rhodes has called the plan “ideal model for future debt restructurings “. Rest now in Detroit to rebuild.

See also our interactive visual : Detroit : the fall of “Motor City”

Charlotte Gainsbourg, based in New York: Radiant for her new life

When your name is Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, you have access to the most chic and unusual evenings, anywhere in the world. The proof with that which was organized on November 4 in Performance : the Brooklyn, New York facility hosted the “Paradiso: A Tribute to the Renaissance“, a performance “food“and”gastronomic“directed by Jennifer Rubell. An event co-hosted by Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of the prestigious W magazine, and the Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli.

Short white crochet dress and leather jacket: Charlotte Gainsbourg’s rock and romantic look has hit the mark once again. The actress is on all screens in France, since the release of Samba, with Omar Sy, but it is in the United States that we find her. She moved there with her partner, actor and director Yvan Attal, and their three children: Ben, 17, Alice, 12, and Joe, 3.

The Gainsbourg-Attal family did not leave for America on a whim. “We have been talking about it for six years“, she said in Madame Figaro. The ordeal she endured last December, the death of her sister Kate Barry, may have been an accelerator. “Every day reminds me of my sister, every moment of my life. I had no idea that I could orient everything around his memory“, she said for this same magazine.

In the Big Apple, she will be able to concentrate on the music: “I stop the films to advance as quickly as possible. I’m writing, we’ll see if it’s musical. I talk about my children, my sister, my family, what haunts me, childhood.” (Madame Figaro) Charlotte Gainsbourg will however still be on cinema screens in The Misunderstood by Asia Argento on November 26, and soon in Everything Will Be Fine the Wim Wenders.