A philosophical film work based on the French philosopher Simone Weil's thoughts, beautifully translated into grainy 16mm footage from modernism's absolute capital, Paris, and divided into chapters like stations on a night-time ride with the metro. In 1934, Weil decided to experience life among the workers of a Renault factory. Her notes were turned into the book 'The Workers' Condition', which lucidly and constructively criticised not just the workers' conditions, but also the more far-reaching consequences of industrialisation and 1930s capitalism. Weil's historical criticism, however, becomes highly topical in today's post-industrial social order, in its dialogue with Arnaud Gerber's camera, which turns the Parisian financial suburb and 1980s utopia La Défense into an abstract image stream of lines and points, colours and reflections. 'The Real Life' is both an elegy of a class, an intellectual position and a desire for political change, which belongs to a different era – and a work which in itself demonstrates that all three are alive and well. In spite of the current state of affairs, just like in Weil's own time.
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