Upon being made redundant, Rak discovers that the word ''travail'' (work) comes from the Latin ''tripalium'', which meant an instrument of torture. Rak doesn't like being idle, so he decides to set up his own business. A quick stickup at Mr Albert's procures him the financial backing he needs. He's now a company boss and a director of human resources looking for willing collaborators. He sets up his office in the local café-bar and interviews candidates for selling a musical encyclopaedia... one which doesn't exist.
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"I was out of work for several years, like 25 or 30 million other people in Europe today. My vision of the world, my way of life, of being, of loving those around me, was thrown completely off keel. In a world in which man exists through what he does, through what he makes, I had become another. This film was born out of that change of state; the passage from being an actor in society to being a spectator in society. When I started writing the film, the central question was : how to treat, in a fiction film, one of the major problems facing the Western world today (something which had also become my major preoccupation) : work and no-work." (Christophe Loizillon)