|A scene from Into Our Hands.|
By John Esther
Attributing to a weakening economy part and parcel of the management at Starissima, a French lingerie factory for boutiques, a group of 50 workers, mostly women, must decide if they want to form a co-op (SCOP) and run the place themselves.
An exciting yet stressful prospect, the venture will first require an act of faith in the collective by requiring each worker consenting to pay, at least, one month's salary just to put the idea into action. If you really believe, you can offer more.
As you can imagine, some of the workers are more committed, courageous and conscious about what it means to work in a company where you, ideally, participate on an equal basis. Some of the workers are smarter than others.
After reaching one hurdle, the company's boss still wants to pay to play his part, and that leads to more anxiety for people facing the prospect of losing their jobs after investing what may be their final wages. Is it better to live with remorse than with regret?
An engaging documentary full of people with varying viewpoints set against a backdrop of bras, panties and cardboard boxes, the latest documentary by Mariana Otéro (It's Your TV, Too; History of a Secret) -- which made its U.S. Premiere at the ColCoa last night -- offers a lot of drama and little bit of comedy as one roots for the workers.
At least, whatever happens to the workers of Into Our Hands (Entre nos mains), they will always have the marvelous musical number they perform in the documentary, which fairly summarizes the documentary by using a little fiction.