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This is a true story, which happened to the father of a friend of mine. A worker at Mirafiori in the early seventies, had a terrible accident at work due to poor maintenance of the machine. While in the hospital, most of his body burned with very little hope of survival, some FIAT officials approach his wife and propose a pact: If he does not report the accident inside the factory, but outside, for chance reasons, yes they commit to hiring her as an employee, including Ensures that they have reasons to live, and their daughters. The husband dies and the widow accepts the contract. He goes to work at FIAT and is able to raise his daughters with dignity. To do this, she uses the “FIAT System” that has made Turin for decades, blending the rigors of the practices just described with the wellbeing approach perfectly described in after work, a true classic of corporate cinema, produced in those exact years, in 1972. It is produced by CineFIAT, the equivalent of the press and publicity authority of PCI at that time. and somehow after work is a peer Trevico Turin, a trip in Viat NamAnd The Ettore Scola movie released just a year later.

CineFIAT has not only produced advertising films, but also educational documentaries and various types of testimonials about the company’s activity. This film, for example, appears to have been produced for internal use, and is intended for the employees themselves, to inform them of all the activities and opportunities offered by Fiat “outside of work”. At 24 minutes, the film collects a rapallic amount of interfering segments. It starts from the field of recreational sports: water polo, blankets, rowing, tennis, swimming pools, athletics, Greco-Roman wrestling (!), basketball, diving and weightlifting. We then move on to more social issues: credit to buy a car (FIAT naturally), social assistance, health, kindergartens and nurseries, boarding schools, and colonies. And of course public housing, which has been built with “ever-increasing commitment”. These are the same tall buildings at Mirafiori and Vallette that sometimes appear looming over the “aggregates” documenting the sports facilities. Then there is the pupil school, for the children of workers destined to be new employees. and FIAT Christmas, a seemingly unmissable party in which children of working-class families return home full of gifts. The film is keen to tell us that all of this is also shown on a monthly basis in “L’Illustrato FIAT”, a home-distributed periodical, which sees the editorial team at work on alacre.

The spread of the company’s approach to employees does not stop even when the employment relationship ends. We enter the world of “FIAT seniors”, who can hold regular meetings, a retirement home (inevitably named after Giovanni Agnelli) and a holiday hotel on the Riviera. Finally, here are the most obvious cultural activities: a library (however, oddly enough, the only framed volume is a directory called men and fish), folklore performances dedicated to regional communities, classical music concerts; And again: sports courses, mountain climbing, underwater fishing, chess, stamps, mycology, photography. In this catalog of the best of all possible worlds, everything is clean and immaculate. From the factory to the nursing home, there is an atmosphere of order and reasonableness, where everything is as it should be.

With sometimes alienating effects: the noisy geometry of an elderly canteen, for example, invokes the assembly line’s functional arrangement—even if the most surreal element of the scene is a white-gloved waitress who appears to come straight from the Agnelli Pete. Everything is told by a piece of music easy pop Captivating and rampant. In this universe where everyone is protected and nurtured, as long as – tacitly – they cooperate wholeheartedly, sometimes images are charged with an involuntary depressing tone. As in the case of an “old Fiat”, alone among others, carrying a plastic bag with goldfish likely to win at the booth of the rally that gathers 5,000 of his former teammates, the spokesperson tells us emphatically. It’s a picture of a strange unit that could have come out of a book by Beringo Garden.

Far from the historical and social assessments of the “FIAT System”, what remains with you today while watching this film is an ambiguous feeling. On the other hand, one can only complain, net of Agnelli’s paternalism, the loss of the complex set of social guarantees that today, in an age Release A liberal and fragmented work, it sounds like science fiction. On the other hand, the company’s apparent attempt to seize every moment of an employee’s life with clever social blackmail is disturbing: the moment I take advantage of you, I create in you a complex of guilt and gratitude as opposed to what you feel about oppressive parents. And this must have been the root cause of what happened in the city in January 2003, when Gianni Agnelli passed away.

The corpse was displayed in the Pinacoteca del Lingotto, and this was indeed a reality with many symbols: it was an abandoned FIAT factory converted into a shopping center and art gallery at the same time, a boom full of antiquities. What no one expected was the sheer number of people, ordinary citizens, including many ex-employees, who braved hours of cold standing along the previous test track to bid his final farewell. Among these were many of his “enemies”, people who fought him inside and outside the factory: they were more or less aware that they, along with their opponent, were celebrating their historic funerals. (All this was narrated in a beautiful film by Gianfranco Barbieri, massUnfortunately, it cannot be tracked online.) Among those people in line, as well as my friend’s mother. For whom I did not dare to ask why I went; But maybe there is no need.

As part of the 2021/2022 cultural programming for Polo del ‘900 Where the wind leads. Crisis, transformations and opportunities for the new decadeThe Foundation of the Antonio Gramsci Institute of Piedmont proposes and coordinates the Con-nected Archives multimedia project. The text presented by David Ferrario here, which originated from a collaboration between Polo del 900 and Doppiozero, takes its hint and develops from the material in the course Work, Struggle and Rights (available here).

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Another world: only the individual is saved

The cinema of Stefan Brezy, author of three films in seven years on the social inequalities that liberalism has produced, is always up to date despite the latest, Another worldIt hit theaters after the unimaginable economic emergency caused by the pandemic. By choosing to analyze, among other things, the question of the relationship between the quality and quantity of time each individual gives to his work and his private life, he has highlighted the inequalities that the pandemic has further accentuated: between those who can and those who cannot choose where and when to work, who can and who He cannot voluntarily choose the right time to stop. Again, Breezy chose Vincent Lyndon as the hero, but it has nothing to do with the other characters he played: the actor during the Venice Film Festival (where the film was in competition) objected to the use of the term “trilogy” for this very reason.

Stephen Breezy.

The director’s position is less strict, realizing that he has completed a trilogy backwards: each new film analyzes the causes of the events of the previous film, changing the names of characters and companies. at market law (2015), Lyndon an unemployed middle-aged man struggling to get back into the job market; When he succeeds, he is forced to become a partner in the ruthless labor management system of which he himself was a victim. The narrative arc begins when he is unemployed, succumbs to participate in useless training courses and accepts risky jobs; He is also exhausted from fighting his former company in court despite making sure it was profitable, so his surplus was not due to a crisis. What happens when the owners of a for-profit factory still decide to close it is a topic at war (2019), in which Lyndon is a unionist trying to save vulnerable jobs in every way, including politics and the information world, while maintaining a relentless stance always on the verge of legality.

The title of the third film comes directly from a scene in this film, in which the CEO of the fictitious German-owned company Perrin defends the option of closing the French factory during a fruitless negotiating table with social partners. “Denial of the present reality of this market is equivalent to wanting in another world, to live in another world”: this is how the manager presents his choices to his interlocutors as inevitable. A viewpoint so disregarded of the legitimate demands of workers called for further analysis: therefore, in Another worldLyndon transformed himself once again to play Philip Lemesel, who has been part of management for years and can provide perspective on facts complementing those of the characters in previous films.

The head of the French hardware factory belonging to an international group, Philippe is at a hierarchical level that places him in command of hundreds of people but also reports directly to the National Coordinator, who in turn must respond directly to the truth. President, American Cooper. He is not in a comfortable position: he has a position of great responsibility but does not have full decision-making power; He has a high salary but money and prestige are not enough to make his family happy. His wife Anne (Sandrine Kiberlin), for this money and prestige, agreed to give up her career, reluctantly accepting to see fewer and fewer of her husband even on weekends, but no longer accepting that he pollutes the family atmosphere due to the accumulated stress of work and then puffs air in the house.

Lucas (Anthony Pagon)’s son absorbs this inner negativity that causes him to have a troubling nervous breakdown. However, neither divorce papers nor hospitalization of the child in the clinic could distract Philip from the task assigned to him: to select 58 employees at his full discretion to be fired, and not less than one. He must have an exact number, because that is what is expected of him. But the plant is also expected not to lower the quality level despite the workforce being reduced by about 10%. He was given an illogical but binding mandate, exacerbated by the anxiety of having to choose who would spoil his life by denying him a job.

Announcing or signing layoffs is never the elusive and intangible market, but the people in the flesh. It is easier to direct the fight, just as it is easier to make the plot of the film convincing, if one can put a face to the “enemy” who blocks the path of the protagonists. But this time, the antagonist is the protagonist, so that it is clear that the one who takes responsibility for the organizational choices is not necessarily the promoter. Neither the workers nor the trade unionists have access to the secret meetings of management, therefore all management in their eyes are equally responsible: they cannot know that Philip is their best ally, they do not know the commitment he has made to find alternative and economically viable solutions to avoid layoffs, they ignore the work The hard work of persuasion he is willing to do at the highest levels.

The torment experienced by a manager is symmetric, not contradictory, with that of his employees. If Prezi’s films seem unfair, it is because they do not simply tell us about the problems of the free market, but its worst perversions: for this purpose, he chose the stories of workers from profitable and self-sufficient companies, which were either reorganized or closed to them. Pure speculation by shareholders. The real, invisible enemy is the search for a larger and concentrated profit in the hands of a few, without redistribution and without investments. It is impossible, for Philip who is aware of this, to bear it all without a sense of aversion to economic inequality caused by willful greed, from which he himself profited.

More than another world, Breeze’s characters will need another life not swallowed up by the doubts of the action. They will gladly accept the daily boredom of security about their future. At the recent Rotterdam International Film Festival, we saw an unusual example that seemed to be the exact opposite of the tense situations recreated by the French director: in plans By newcomer David Estelle, over the course of three hours, a camera mounted on the back seat of a car sequentially shows the first minutes of several trips of a middle-aged lawyer merging daily, always at 5 p.m., in suburban Melbourne traffic on its way home. Sometimes he listens to the radio, sometimes he calls the phone, sometimes he talks to a colleague who recommends him: in his boring daily routine, the passing of the months can only be perceived by the different light that illuminates his journey that is always the same.

Since there is no real plot, we are surprised by the small amount of information that can be collected to create a picture of any ordinary life: the protagonist does not experience any memorable or interesting adventure, but also does not suffer from any serious crisis . face to. This is what it means not to fear that market laws can rip the certainty of a safe working position: the benefit of prolonged monotony over time that comes so close to the goal of peaceful living. We do not directly see the face of the protagonist plans, whom we learn to know only through the eyes reflected in the rear-view mirror, the voice, the hands busy with command: he has the body language of a calm and complete man, and this is the opposite of Lyndon’s characters who are physically tested by struggles crushing them and little by little they also undermine his dialectical ability, which is less effective. In the multinational environment that Brize photographed, that kind of serenity is not only absent, but seemingly impossible, even when the last missing piece is reached: who really commands.

As already in the previous films, Prezi chose to combine a few professional actors (the three members of the Lemizl family) with non-professionals who enriched the characters with their experiences and real-life dialogues that during the heated discussions, we constantly pause and voices overlap. Cooper, the CEO of a multinational, only appears during a video conference that begins under Better Sponsorship but turns into a chilling lesson about power: He’s played by Jerry Hickey, his regular job being the company’s coach. As an expert on company culture and language, it probably wasn’t hard for him to make his character intimidating.

At first he has a rather casual appearance but never appears cute, in the words he completes but his facial expressions express hardness and contempt, he is never afraid to look at the camera when he has to express his positions (look on the contrary, Philip unable to continue), his pronouncements are permeated in a categorical manner with precise and well-thought-out words behind which he reveals more anger than disappointment; The purpose of the meeting is to reaffirm its role as the only decision maker that should not be questioned. However, shortly after reaffirming his blind faith in the rules of the market, he admitted that he also had a leader to answer: Wall Street. Another film may also be needed to investigate the causes of the top of the pyramid, which comfortably dismiss personal responsibilities by hiding behind an abstract entity, thus depriving peers of facing the enemy.

Suffering, anguish, indignation and anger that pertain to workers and reach managers, can also include managers or those identified as gentlemen? Sure enough, Brizzy, reinforced by the testimonies collected, wanted to show how high-level executives can suffer emotionally when they are forced to make ethical choices that are inconsistent with their values ​​and that the suffering does not only concern employees: but in conclusion, it does not put everyone in a difficult position. same level. Not only is Cooper, who remains an elusive figure far from satisfied, but his hypothetical “boss” Wall Street is an ally rather than a threat; Even Philip faces an unwelcome fate with adequate protection. Already in the first scene, where the terms of the divorce between the Lemesle couple are discussed, the assets of the family are listed: money does not make any of them happy but ensures that they have enough resources to arrive at the end of the month without fear, and the months to come.

The employees of factories that are closed or renovated may suffer emotional suffering to a degree similar to that of this manager, but they also fear the well-founded dangers of destitution. All of Lyndon’s characters in this trilogy make a painful nod to the final break: the only person who can come out with a little confidence in the future, perhaps even with a new calm, is Philip, because the previously accumulated money makes him a difference. It is a bitter defeat of the class struggle: we can only be saved as individuals, in a system in which the well-being of the individual does not depend on the well-being of the whole society.

If we keep this space alive, thank you. Even one euro means a lot to us. READ AGAIN SOON AND SUPPORT DOPPIOZERO