After the success of The godmotherdirector Jean-Paul Salomé returns to direct Isabelle Huppert in The Syndicalist (The Sitting Duck), presented in competition in the Horizons section of the 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival.
Plot and Cast
The official plot: The Trade Unionist is the true story of Maureen Kearney, union representative of the nuclear power plant of a French multinational, who has become an informant, denouncing the top secret agreements that have shaken the French nuclear sector. Alone against the world, she fought tooth and nail against ministers and captains of industry to expose the scandal and defend more than 50,000 jobs… Her life changed when she was violently attacked at home. .. The investigations that they lead place under pressure: the question is delicate. Suddenly, new elements generate doubts among the investigators. As a victim, Maureen becomes suspicious.
The cast of the film also includes Alexandra Maria Lara, Benoît Magimel, Marina Foïs, Yvan Attal, Grégory Gadebois, Pierre Deladonchamps, Geno Lechner, François-Xavier Demaison, Gilles Cohen, Aloïse Sauvage, Yves Heck, Antoine Basler and Andréa Bescond, Niko Ravel and Clement Giren.
- Le Syndacalist is inspired by the true story of Maureen Kearney, union representative of the nuclear power plant of a French multinational, who became an informant, denouncing the top secret transactions that shook the French nuclear sector. Alone against the world, she fought tooth and nail against ministers and captains of industry to bring the scandal to light and defend more than 50,000 jobs…
- In addition to La Padrina – Paris has a new queen, director Jean-Paul Salomé also directed Belfagor – The Phantom of the Louvre, Fatal Agents, Playing Dead and Arsenio Lupin with Romain Duris.
- Jean-Paul Salomé is directing La Syndacalist from a screenplay he wrote with Fadette Drouard based on the book of the same name by Caroline Michel-Aguirre.
- Syndacalist Jean-Paul Salomé will soon be distributed in Italy by I WONDER PICTURES in collaboration with Unipol Biografilm Collection.
By its nature, the film is in line with the great paranoid thrillers that I particularly like. It touches on current and burning issues such as the place occupied by women in spheres of power; the importance attached to their words; and the assumption that they are crazy and have a manipulative nature. The Kearney affair is the story of an informant, but also of a woman in a world of men unaccustomed to seeing women risk everything to attack those from above. This feature film gave me the opportunity to continue collaborating with Isabelle Huppert, but this time in a completely different register, and always with the desire to make her embody a character rooted in reality. [Jean-Paul Salomé]
Caroline Michel-Aguirre’s book
Maureen Kearney, Irish, has been teaching English at Areva since 1987. She has been an executive delegate of the CFDT and elected general secretary of the European works council since 2004. In 2012, Maureen Kearney was close to several ministers and elected members of the new government . In the summer of 2012, a minister informed him of the existence of a secret agreement between EDF and CGNPC, a Chinese nuclear company. Finally find a copy of the agreement. He moves heaven and earth to put an end to this agreement. It provided for a transfer of know-how from Areva by EDF to their Chinese partner. In December 2012, she was brutally attacked in her home. Prosecuted by the French State for “imaginary crime” it takes 6 years to be acquitted and released. In 2019, Caroline Michel, journalist from the Obs, tells her incredible story in a book published by Stock: “La Syndacalist”.
The official synopsis of the book: In a house in the Paris suburbs, on December 17, 2012, a woman was found in a stupor, tied to a chair, the handle of a knife stuck in her vagina. An “A” was drawn by a blade on his stomach. Her name is Maureen Kearney, she’s the Areva trade unionist. Maureen has been defending the interests of France’s nuclear flagship for years. She is close to Anne Lauvergeon, frequent ministers and captains of industry. When he learns that EDF, Areva’s sworn enemy, is ready to sign a contract with the Chinese that could lead to a transfer of technology, he steps forward, alerting politicians. Until today in December 2012. Following his attack, an investigation was opened by the gendarmerie. So everything changes. And if the trade unionist had invented everything? Would Maureen be a hysteric, a manipulator? Or simply an informant crushed by a system that is beyond her? Tense like a thriller, Caroline Michel-Aguirre’s investigation plunges us into the heart of a terrifying story of power, politics, industry, but above all of humanity.
The book “La Syndacalist” is available in French edition on Amazon.