Words From the Strike – 1996


In December 1995, a reform of French social security, known as the « Plan Juppé », faces a strong opposition by civil servants and French national rail (SNCF) workers, who go once more on strike, and reject an umpteenth « Plan contract ». The strike will put the whole country to a stop for three weeks. Two young filmmakers rush to Austerlitz station in Paris, and follow actors of the strike, through their unpredictable, uncertain but exciting experience. Memories of past fights soon fill the minds of everyone, especially among the younger workers, whose recent commitment in social fight is fuelled by a desire for change and a feeling of unfairness. Togetherness, waiting, expectations, family problems, dejection, solidarity, conflicts, utopia, hopes and ideologies are the signs and traces of a team of strikers. Demonstrations, getting bigger and bigger, show what everyone wishes to come true. Between daily assemblies and logistic questions, they talk freely about themselves. Short quiet moments, between periods of uproar, where the word finds some freedom.


Technical specs

Documentary – 49 mins – France – 1996
Producers : Les films de mars / Ceméa / En association avec La Sept-Arte
Directors : Sabrina Malek et Arnaud Soulier
Editing : Gilles Dinematin


Rail Press award – Tours Films Festival 1997