Work. We are living in a society that still puts emphasis on the value of work: if you do not have a job, you are nothing. But as more than three decades have now passed since there no longer is enough work to go around, things are - too slowly - evolving and, hand in hand with these issues around work, comes a series of other questions. Through the films featured in this section, we will meet people who are very different in very different situations, but who will all eventually be asking the same questions: What is it that we really want from this life? How can we be free while living within the system?
For Marish, a 52 years old Hungarian woman and a former dictatorship-era factory worker deeply confused by the chaotic history of her native country, these are questions she has never allowed herself to even ponder. Unfortunately, she is the living caricature of people whose lives have been completely controlled (by the state, by the patriarchal system or by both), to such extent that she was unable to sense the trap she was about to fall into when she accepted to work for a (very toxic) middle class family, soon becoming a modern-day slave, being made to work - for 10 years - seven days a week, 20 hours a day, with no pay, no bed and a confiscated ID. Her encounter with the filmmaker will be a decisive one. Slowly, she will come to realise that she matters and that she can exist on her own.
For the French characters of the other two films included in our programme, life has also not been easy, but nor are they living from hand to mouth and their country’s history is very different. Yet, the same questions - and more - are being raised: What are we prepared to do in order to get a job? What kind of job do we want? Are we ready to follow in the footsteps of our parents? Manon Ott paints a poetic and political portrait of a French working-class suburb, inhabited by people whose parents had been immigrants and whose discourse reveals a high degree of self and civic awareness. Pierre Tonachella’s area of exploration - again, both poetic and political - is exactly the same: his childhood friends, the rural working-class youth struggling to find employment.