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Of Rolls and Men


filmmaker : Charlotte Pouch
Composer : Paul Prier
France, 2017
Production : Rouge International

67'
Français
Anglais


Synopsis


In June 2014, the manager of the Bel Maille textile factory announced to his staff that the firm was going into receivership. Following the pace set by the machines, the story that plays out over subsequent months introduces us to extra-ordinary, clear-sighted men and women who, to the very end, face reality without resigning themselves to their fate.

Tënk's film review


Although the Bel Maille factory workers are actors in a fiction film about industrial decline that’s shot in the factory, the reality of going into receivership catches up with them. This mise en abyme is just one of the documentary’s singularities. Charlotte Pouch manages to film a worried community of workers, often united as one block, a working-class block that fully emerges during the meetings with the CEO. Following the company director’s dealings with the workers over time is relentless for two reasons: it structures the film’s timescale and exposes, to a certain extent, the manager’s incompetence, not to say greed. One of the movie’s strengths is also down to its director’s meticulous filming of the factory and its almost silent machines. The surreal bright white light of the place, the hi-tech equipment and the precise movements of the work all give it the feel of a modern laboratory, making a change from the usual clichés of noisy factory floors, and making it even more shocking as the reality of its approaching closure becomes clear.

Jean-Marie Barbe
Producer, Editorial Coordinator of Tënk and Co-founder of the États Généraux du Film Documentaire de Lussas

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filmmaker

Charlotte Pouch

After studying Literature at the Sorbonne followed by a course at the CFPJ School of Journalism, Charlotte Pouch began her career as a reporter for Canal Plus and France Télévisions. In 2013, she directed her first documentary, “Dans le dos de Michel Gondry” (broadcast by Canal Plus), accompanying the filmmaker in his creative process during “Mood Indigo” (“L'Écume des jours”). She also makes short programmes for France Télévisions, works for TV magazines on the Arte channel and develops drama and documentary projects. “Of Rolls and Men” is her second documentary.

Other films in the collection: Silver Screen