Production and distribution (2)
From the evocation of the shoot-out at Cluses in 1904, when bosses fired on striking workers, to the testimony of a worker today at the La Bâthie factory, Gilles Perret's film, employing archive footage from the Cinémathèque des Pays de Savoie et de l'Ain, constructs the memoirs of workers in the Savoy mountains. It brings alive the workers of today (steel workers, worker-farmers in the Savoy mountains, a minister-worker, building laborers, unionists, business executives, historians) through emotion and the subjects' natural, direct way of speaking to us. The film sympathetically confronts their memories with archival images that restore the daily life of workers from times past, in the factory, on the building site, in the countryside. A life that needs no words to tell its tale. By passing from industrial activity, followed by major works in the Alps, then the construction of ski lodges which meant that a service economy supplanted a production economy, it is also recounts the economic history of the last century. Set against a backdrop of social relations more or less favorable to the working class, men lucid and true express their memories. Beyond the Savoy region alone, the film attests without nostalgia to the transformation of a working-man's world that we no longer see, threatened to disappear due to the economic logic of globalization. It investigates a history in the making, that of the people history forgot, giving dignity to anonymous faces, lost gestures, personified convictions. It is so real, the power of the illusion of cinema so strong, that emotion is the heart of the film.