Emmanuel Carrère, France 2021
This is a French-language film set in the northern city of Caen and is based on the real-life experience of journalist Florence Aubenas who goes undercover to expose the hardships of workers at the marginalized end of society. Marianne (Juliette Binoche) is the persona the undercover journalist takes on as she merges into the local community of poorly paid exploited workers. She takes on a series of cleaning jobs including the cross-Channel ferry where she makes friends thus entering into an increasingly difficult ethical dilemma. As the other workers befriend and accept her as their own, Marianne knows she must eventually betray their trust.
The film keeps you engaged on two levels: appalled by the conditions Marianne finds herself in and nervous about what happens when she must confess to her deception. The other actors, although acting for the first time, deliver convincing all be it sorrowful performances. There is a real-life intensity that is felt throughout as we delve into the underbelly of society. The film is based on the non-fiction book Le Quai de Ouistreham by Florence Aubernas.
A film to make you think about how we all live our lives.