Based on acclaimed French journalist Florence Aubenas’ non-fiction bestseller The Night Cleaners (Le quai de Ouistreham) Juliette Binoche plays Marianne Winckler, a successful author, who relocates to the port city of Caen to write an exposé on low paying working conditions. Concealing her true identity, she finds work as a cleaner, so as to experience first-hand the precariousness of life on the margins.
Employed within the punishing cleaning schedule of a hectic ferry route, Marianne meets Christèle (Hélène Lambert) a charismatic single mother, but as an intense bond develops, Marianne will be forced to answer to the thorny ethical dilemma her actions have created. Eventually, she must answer for her duplicity. Is lying justifiable when the aims are considered laudable?
Director: Emmanuel Carrère
Cast: Hélène Lambert, Juliette Binoche, Louise Pociecka
Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight, 2021
BFI London Film Festival, 2021
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2021
Winner, Audience Award for Best European Film, San Sebastián International Film Festival, 2021
‘…an incendiary, scene-dominating turn from newcomer Hélène Lambert that gives the picture its jagged, furious energy.’★★★ Wendy Ide, The Observer.
‘“…although Binoche is the film’s star, her presence is smartly muted, allowing us time and space to discover the world as she does, and providing room for complexity...’★★★★ Dave Calhoun, Time Out.