Movie Review - Temporaries

Cinema, being a kind of art, may be utilized for a variety of reasons. A film can entertain or move an audience, but it can also be used as a political instrument to expose the injustices that plague our society. That is the case in Pier-Philippe Chevigny’s Temporaries (Richelieu), a terrible film on how first-world firms exploit foreign employees in ways that they cannot mistreat people of their own countries.

Temporaries follow Ariane (Ariane Castellanos) as she returns to her mother’s house in Canada following a difficult divorce. Ariane’s ex-husband is in prison for fraud, and she inherited all of his debts. That means she has to find work as soon as possible, which leads her to work as a translator at a maize factory. Ariane is in charge of facilitating communication between the manufacturing director, Stéphane (Marc-André Grondin), and the temporary Latino employees employed by the corporation. As a translator, Ariane must stay unbiased and just repeat the phrases she hears in French in Spanish. However, as time passes, Ariane is forced to become an ally in their quest for fundamental human rights due to the harsh treatment of foreign labor.

Temporaries Trailer

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While the storyline of Temporaries develops precisely as expected, the film’s value rests in its refusal to abstain from delivering a full accounting of all the ways huge corporations employ to circumvent the law in order to enhance output. There is a reason why wealthier countries like to engage immigrants for hard labor: they are subject to a variety of abuses. Furthermore, the position of a temporary worker places an unfair burden on their shoulders because the contract might be terminated at any time. And, while large corporations are normalizing freelance employment in place of stable job positions in all fields to avoid paying for their perks, the situation is considerably worse in industries that may hire people without a formal degree, whose lack of experience makes them more easily manipulated.

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Temporaries, like Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, dig deeply into the miseries of modern slavery when individuals are forced to choose between freedom and survival. Corporations have devised several workarounds to eliminate the rights that workers battled so hard to obtain in the twentieth century. The promise of fast profits in a stronger currency while working overseas, for example, encourages many people to abandon their families and expose themselves to harsh working circumstances that shatter their bodies and souls. Of course, firms spend a lot of money employing experts who will assist them avoid the safeguards that unions and legal systems may provide employees. All for the sake of making money. Temporaries delve deeply into this complicated scenario, providing an uncompromising look at the exploitation of foreign labor. If the film is fiction, it is constructed on a reality that many people would like to forget.

While Temporaries is primarily concerned with the plight of foreign workers, the film is also astute enough to show how the atrocities they endure cannot be placed on a single person. The film examines how the harsh system of capitalist production deprives individuals of their humanity in order to push them to the bottom of the food chain. As a result, as brutal as the factory director might be, the film also takes the time to explore how his job, and hence his existence, is also at stake. The owner of the means of production controls everyone’s life and is only concerned with cold figures. Production must increase, and the human cost is not even a factor in the success formula. That doesn’t mean individuals don’t have agency, as Temporaries show how, even under the most dire circumstances, there is still room for compassion and solidarity.

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Chevigny also does an excellent job of humanizing the immigrant laborers at the heart of the film. Despite the harsh working circumstances, which they must tolerate or risk being fired, the gang finds time to share meals, music, and tales, clinging to any semblance of a normal existence they may have. These moments of levity are critical for Temporaries to deliver its message because they allow the viewer to understand the group as more than just a set of laborers but as individuals with their own inconsistencies and quirks.

Screenshot 74The terrible situation of Temporaries immigrant workers is highlighted by the outstanding performances of the whole ensemble. Castellanos impresses as the protagonist, divided between the instability of her life and the urge to fight injustice. Furthermore, the whole ensemble plays their roles with the passion required for spectators to identify with these individuals, sharing their miseries and worries as Temporaries reveal the innards of a game with very few victors and many unscrupulous participants.

Temporaries shine as a drama on the status of modern labor due to the convergence of a strong storyline, precise directing, and tragic performances. While the message may occasionally take precedence over the tale, this is nonetheless a vital film for better understanding how the unseen chains of production affect our daily lives.

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