Springtime in Paris. A one-day national strike. The demonstrations fill the streets of the capital, up to the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève district, just behind the Latin Quarter, the fief of Monsieur Jean, bookseller and former union activist. Monsieur Jean’s bookstore is something of the spiritual soul of the neighbourhood. There the destinies of Dan the sitcom writer, Ange the courier, Madeleine the romantic and the others are played out, while Monsieur Jean listens, argues, counsels, raising his glass to those who believe, those who hold on to their ideals.
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Solidarity, the subject of this film, is a very hot topic. In the movie, Monsieur Jean is a little disappointed when the negotiations don’t turn out as well as he hoped. But what counts is the humanism, the selfless struggle, the handing on of knowledge so it can become power. You’d have to be mad to turn down such a rich character, whose pithy quotations and sheer presence are like a dose of vitamins and joy! (Daniel Russo)