In a jobcentre outside Paris, forty employees deal with four thousand jobseekers. Samia, Corinne, Thierry and Zuleika have to support and monitor, get results, follow political directives and obey communication regulations, and find work even when there isn’t any. This is life for a team that has incorporated the impossible into its everyday reality.
For everyone who’s ever called the jobcentre, as well as the few that haven’t, “Pôle Emploi, ne quittez pas” is a fascinating film. We follow the people whose job ought to be to accompany us in our search for employment. And it’s all very humiliating. First of all, for the jobseekers, aka the unemployed, who bang their heads against the wall of paperwork. And then for the agents who work there, whose job is constantly subject to directives from “above” that take no account of their expertise on the ground, dismissing it as worthless. And, ultimately, for the managers who carry out what needs to be carried out, in other words, managing the institution’s decay, even if it means being the ones who humiliate.
Despite the impression it gives of being a report, this is a harsh film showing us a machine in which thoughts and ideas can only very occasionally slip in through one of the rare cracks, powerless against the clearly stated ideology that “work is freedom”.
Tënk's Editorial and programming Director