Programmed by Tangui Perron
This film traces out the portrait of a motorway rest area located in the countryside in the North of France. It looks like a dream,filled with the whispering thoughts and the lives of those who work here, as well as those who are just passing through. It is also a very concrete place, a perfect spot to observe today’s Europe, the violence carried by the free competition of a single market, the nostalgia carried by uprooted lives, and all the solitude engendered by our modern world.
Edward Hopper’s paintings, a couple of Alain Souchon’s songs such as “Ultra Moderne Solitude” and Karl Marx’s analyses of the flow of goods and capital are some of the references that come to mind watching Isabelle Ingold’s “Highway Rest Stop”, and they’re what gives this film its strength, beauty and coherence. The proletarians of the roads and rest stops are alone and in solidarity with one another, isolated yet together. Abandonment doesn’t preclude class consciousness or, at least, the perception or conscience of one’s misfortune, even if it’s only when studying one’s pay slip. With a rare sense of visuals and a rigorous conception of frame, “Highway Rest Stop”, a sensitive documentary, is also an eminently political film that shows, without spelling it out, all that continues – in spite of everything – to unite the men and women subjected to the flow of goods, the rationalisation of time and the sacrifice of landscapes.
Historian, in charge of audiovisual heritage at Périphérie