The gig economy is one of the biggest blights of modern capitalism. Not only do workers have no job security, the pay is usually terrible and the work is rarely much better. All the power rests in the hands of the employers while employees can get fired at will. Without any guarantee of hours, and therefore income, it can often be a perilous; having to work several jobs just to pay the rent. Between Two Worlds trains its lens on this terrible practice.
Marianne Winckler (Juliette Binoche) has left her comfortable Parisian life behind to head to Caen in order to get material for her new book. The undercover reporter uses the story of being a newly divorced housewife with no experience as her cover, getting work as a cleaner. She is shocked by how difficult the job is but when she encounters Chrystèle (Hélène Lambert), an implacable and vocal single mother, Marianne is determined to experience what working on the ferries is like.
Between Two Worlds takes Florence Aubenas’ book Le Quai de Ouistreham, and with the help of a largely non-professional cast, turns it into a drama which tackles a pernicious social issue. The concept is most successful when focusing on the underpaid and overworked cleaners, but stumbles a little when too much emphasis is placed on the character of Marianne. It can be as cringeworthy as I, Daniel Blake, at times, but Emmanuel Carrère’s film gets its message across well. Even when Between Two Worlds follows a far too obvious path.
Between Two Worlds is out in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema on 27 May.