• 90'
  • Authors : Clara Mazuir, Jean-Charles Doria
  • 13-09-2020
  • Master : 2976


Following the health crisis, a difficult autumn for business lies ahead. Bankruptcies and lay-off plans resulting from the pandemic are starting to mount up. How are those French who were already finding it hard to make ends meet despite working full time going to pull through? Employees, shop-keepers or small businessmen… since the spring, our teams have been following these men and women who are fighting to save their jobs or small businesses. A portrait of a hard-working and courageous France that is maintaining hope despite everything. In the Isère, Alexia, 30 had just completed a total refit of her hairdressing salon when Covid-19 hit. A sparkling new boutique that she was forced to close for two months while paying the bills for the work. In an attempt to save her business and the jobs of her two employees, Alexia decided to take a second job in a factory, three nights per week. Well-paid work, but exhausting. Between the salon, her night-job and a little time for her five-year-old son, whom she is raising alone, how long can Alexia hold out? In the Indre, Denis and his wife, Nathalie, 54 and 50, have prepared orders at “La Halle for some thirty years. Two months of lockdown brought the clothing chain down. These parents of two teens already had to perform contortions to make ends meet and pay the loan on their house. And now they are faced with the threat of double redundancy. How will they manage this uncertain future, and the anxiety of their children?

Laurent, 52, heads a small factory in the Val d’Oise. He is a sub-contractor to the automobile and construction industries, sectors hard-hit by the health crisis. This businessman was able to keep his factory running during lockdown because his order book was full. However, since March, nothing. He can’t even get through to his customers. So, this boss, a former lathe-operator, is fighting like a lion to avoid laying off his ten employees and keep the business he created with his own hands afloat. Aged just 22, Alexandra is one of the French who never counted her hours during lockdown. A home help in the South of France, she made it possible for dozens of fragile people to look after themselves at home. Alexandra would hope that the attitude towards her profession will improve after the crisis, but the lack of recognition is hard to take. And her salary is less than fabulous. With a contract for thirty hours per week, this young woman earns a mere €1000 gross per month. For Alexandra, the return to work promises to be difficult: her partner, Julien, had just quit his job to set up on his own when the virus struck. As parents of two young children, will they be able to surmount the economic tsunami that is looming?

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