what is GW?
As As governments continue to be overtaken by special interests around the world, profits will inevitably be prioritized over the well-being of the working class, destroying countless lives in the name of competition. It’s no wonder why our international cinema has currently become populated by 21st century Capra-esque protagonists like Ken Loach’s Daniel Blake and Stéphane Brizé’s Thierry Taugourdeau. The latter character was portrayed by Vincent Lindon in Brizé’s 2015 gem, “The Measure of a Man,” a quietly incendiary portrait of a laid off factory worker who finds crucial employment at a supermarket, where he is tasked with ratting out shoplifters.
The simmering frustrations and indignities endured by the disenfranchised souls so compassionately observed by Brizé is brought to a full boil in his latest collaboration with Lindon, appropriately titled “At War.” With his mustache shaven off and eyes often bulging with outrage, Lindon brings a considerably fiercer presence to his role here as Laurent Amédéo, the spokesman for 1,100 employees at Agen, a French car part supply plant, who are left jobless when it is closed by Perrin Industries. This sudden move by the company breaks their promise made two years prior that workers’ jobs would be secured for at least five years, provided they work longer hours for no additional pay while forfeiting their bonuses in the process.
In the film’s first of many heated confrontations set within the sterile interiors of boardrooms cloaked in the façade of civility, Laurent and his fellow union representatives quickly demonstrate that they are the opposite of naive, adding up the hours of unpaid labor that saved the company million of euros, increasing Agen’s profits considerably over the past year. With courts approving the company’s right to close the plant, despite no evidence of their decision’s economic necessity, Laurent leads the union on a 23-day strike, refusing to return to work unless they are granted a meeting with Hauser (Martin Hauser), the CEO of Perrin’s German parent company, Dimke Group, which oversaw the recent growth of shareholder dividends.