Thursday Feb 4th.
Liverpool Small Cinema, 57-59 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6DE.
Tickets £4 / £3 concessions but no one turned away due to lack of funds – available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/346887.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s ‘Two Days, One Night’ takes place over the course of a weekend. It is a weekend that will forever remain etched in the mind of Sandra (an exceptional performance by Marion Cotillard), a minimum-wage worker in a small factory. Given a choice between an annual 1,000 Euro bonus and allowing Sandra to keep her job, the majority voted for the bonus. Sandra’s has recently been off work suffering from depression, and her lack of self esteem is reinforced by her co-workers decision.
However her family face the prospect of losing their home without her income. After persuading the company to allow a second vote on Monday morning, Sandra has a race against time as she has only the weekend to visit each of her colleagues in turn and persuade them to reconsider their decisions. Sandra faces an uphill battle to keep her job before the crucial vote as they all need the money, so few will stand up against the brutal choice the company has forced on them.
Work, for Sandra and her fellow workers, is an irreplaceable source of meaning, identity and happiness. ‘Two Days, One Night’ is about the erosion of all of those values, and also about the waning of solidarity in the modern economy. In the past, the quality of life that workers like Sandra and her husband enjoy might have been secured through collective struggle. Now, the film suggests, it is maintained through individual competition among the workers themselves.
Ultimately though, the film is not about economic struggles, depression, or a choice between selfishness and compassion. It is about an individual taking responsibility for her life, and in the process, transforming its very fabric and the lives of the people around her. In the end it is about the human spirit to keep persisting without giving up in the face of great adversity.