Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this drama, a young man learns some painful lessons about his family and corporate accountability. Franck (Jalil Lespert) is a recent college graduate who has obtained an internship with a metalworking concern, where his father (Jean-Claude Vallod) has worked as a machinist since leaving school. Franck's job is to aid management and act as a liaison with labor as the plant switches over to a new 35-hour work week. Franck takes his new job seriously -- seriously enough to go out of his way to research the opinions of the workers regarding the firm's new plans. This puts his father in an uncomfortable position: it's obvious that Franck wants to stand up for the rights of the employees, but this isn't sitting well with the boss (Lucien Longueville), and that leaves dad as the man in the middle. Franck then discovers that the company has taken the data he collected and used it in deceptive ways; the result is a corporate edict that will lead to the firing of many long-time employees, including Franck's father. Franck moves from management's to labor's side in this struggle, but at the same time he must tend to the strained relationship between himself and his father. Franck acknowledges his shame about his working-class roots and his inability to understand the pride his father feels about his work. Father, on the other hand, has to confront the fact the company he has selflessly served for most of his adult life is prepared to toss him away for no good reason. Ressources Humaines received its world premiere at the 1999 San Sebastian Film Festival, where Laurent Cantet received the New Directors Award for best first or second feature.
class-clash, family, father, labor-issues, metalwork, parent/child-relationship, work [occupation], working-class
High Artistic Quality