NewsWorld"Ouistreham", by Emmanuel Carrère: a free adaptation that eclipses...

“Ouistreham”, by Emmanuel Carrère: a free adaptation that eclipses its subject – Le Monde



In 2010, Florence Aubenas, journalist at World since 2012, had published The Quai de Ouistreham (L’Olivier), the result of an investigation conducted under a different identity in Caen, where she had registered as unemployed to join the ranks of precarious workers in the city. We thus remember the experience of German journalist Günter Wallraff, who posed as a Turkish worker in 1980s Germany. The journalist’s book is a success, adapted on the airwaves of France Culture, staged in the theater and, today, the subject of a free adaptation to the cinema by writer and director Emmanuel Carrère, of which we know how much the work likes to probe the identity disorder.

It all started at Pôle emploi, in the midst of a crisis of an unemployed woman who was tired of inane formalities. Not far away, Marianne (Juliette Binoche), a fifty-something author who poses as an unemployed without qualification – the story will disclose this secret later – is offered a job as a maintenance agent. She accepts and begins to work in bungalows, where a sustained rhythm is harshly imposed on her, is humiliated by dirty good women, fired as dry by her boss, while getting closer to some of her colleagues, by virtue of solidarity which more readily unites the left-behind than the well-to-do.

Read also Florence Aubenas: “Seeing things at the level of a human being”

Colorful portraits

The Grail is coming soon, in its infernal form. Join the Ouistreham (Calvados) ferry cleaning teams for England. Fixed salary, stable job, but organization of commandos, work from early morning on the stopwatch, cadences convict, referral to the first incident. She hangs on. The filmmaker takes the opportunity to collect the colorful and human portraits of the real workers who surround him, so many figures who, in the hope of a guarantee of authenticity for the film, add to the catalog of social naturalism in cinema. French. The device is coherent, ingenious even in that it superimposes on the screen the duality of actress / non-professionals on that of the characters they embody (the hidden writer versus the proletarians as in themselves).

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Cannes 2021: with “Ouistreham”, Emmanuel Carrère on the marked paths of social fiction

Next to the actress, non-professionals begin to play in their turn, even if it is their own role. And inevitably worse than the one whose job it is

And yet, strangely, the sauce does not take. No doubt because, alongside the actress, the non-professionals, suddenly freed on the stage of their social subjugation, begin to play in their turn, even if this is their own role. And inevitably less well than the one whose job it is.

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