Panorama | Spotlight on France
The ongoing struggle between labour and capital is the subject of Stéphane Brizé’s riveting, impassioned drama. From the first frame, a strike is already underway. At the head of it: Laurent Amédéo (Vincent Lindon, in his fifth collaboration with the French director), a combative, articulate spokesman who attempts to keep the thousand-odd employees of a French auto-parts manufacturer united against the predominantly German management. But with the workers torn between pragmatism and principle, tensions mount, pressure builds and fractures emerge. Disaster seems inevitable…
Foregoing the one-man drama of The Measure of a Man (VIFF 15), Brizé plunges the viewer, often sans contexte, into chaotic scenarios and tense shouting matches captured vérité-style by cinematographer Eìric Dumont’s handheld camera. It’s an intensely physical experience, anchored by Lindon’s electric presence. The scenario is stripped down to its brute facts, leaving the viewer to feel the raw experience of unending conflict in this unsparing look at the human cost of unfettered capitalism.