With “Arise women!” by François Ruffin, little hands emerge from the shadows

(AFP) – They are essential and yet invisible. In “Debout les femmes!”, The latest documentary by LFI deputy François Ruffin, on screens Wednesday, home helpers, maintenance workers or even those accompanying children with disabilities come out of the shadows.

In charge, with the deputy LREM Bruno Bonnell, of a parliamentary mission on the “professions of the link”, the deputy of the Somme, already director of “Merci patron”, satirical film on the luxury group LVMH, or of “J ‘want the sun “, devoted to yellow vests, immediately sees” a shot to play “.

“With Gilles (Perret, the co-director of the documentary), we wanted to make a film that takes place in the Assembly, since almost I have been a member,” he says, during the preview of his film, at the end of September, in Marseilles, in the packed hall of the Toursky theater: but “basically, in the Assembly, nothing happens, the power is not in the Assembly”.

This parliamentary mission therefore gives her the opportunity “to go outside, collect the lives, the voices, the faces of these women in professions that are both exciting and hard”, then “to bring it back inside, to the National Assembly “.

The bet of the film is to provoke a “discourse, obviously on the social question – what are these professions, why there is no timetable, why there is no salary – but also a democratic discourse: what is this institution (of the National Assembly) for, how it malfunctions, how it is no longer a national representation “, continues the elected.

Result: a “parliamentary road movie” featuring a “burlesque tandem” à la Laurel and Hardy between the Left Insubordinate and the entrepreneur Walker Bruno Bonnell, a real “movie character because we do not know if he is nice or not, whether you like it or not, “Mr. Ruffin says ironically.

– “Class feminist film” –
From Dieppe to Amiens via Abbeville, the improbable duo crisscrosses France, including in full confinement, to show the daily life of the little hands of care, precarious workers, often part-time, earning less than the minimum wage despite heavy hourly amplitudes.

“But we like our job”, insists Martine, social worker, 860 euros monthly salary. “I could not have”, then intervenes the elderly lady whom she takes care of and to whom she has just put on her stockings: “Especially for the toilets”, she adds.

“These professions are invisible because, deep down, all they do is what we don’t want to see: it’s dirty, it’s vulnerable, it’s intimate”, explains the elected to AFP. It is also the end of life, a reality that many of these people face without having been prepared for it.

“The unconscious of society is that for centuries women have been doing this at home for free: looking after the sick, children, the elderly; there, they do it outside, they are paid a little, they will not bother us more! “, adds the director, claiming to have signed a” class feminist film “.

Shadow work, which the Covid crisis has suddenly brought to light, serving as “revealer”, according to him, to the essential nature of these service professions.

As in this scene where, in full confinement, the only trace of life in Dieppe, deserted and returned to the seagulls, is that of Delphine who goes to an old lady who has been immobilized for two years: “I only have that”, confides the latter, “every morning, we wonder if they will come back”.

“The thread of life is maintained thanks to them”, pleads Mr. Ruffin, denouncing the “amnesia” of power in the face of these women, while “when everything collapsed, the government and the president are hung up on them “.

The documentary was almost called “The first of the roped parties strike back”. The heroines of the film preferred “Stand up women!”