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Documentary Merci Patron! takes on a French luxury goods group and its billionaire owner

Cinema

Documentary Merci Patron! takes on a French luxury goods group and its billionaire owner

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French doc Merci Patron! sees director François Ruffin take on luxury goods group LVMH with a mix of seriousness and humour. Seen by half a million in France, it is set to take on the film world.

The small independent production Merci patron! (meaning ‘thanks boss’ in English), has become a French phenomenon. The activist doc has already been seen by half a million in France, and at the recent Cannes Film Festival, broadcast rights were sold to distributors in several counties.

The documentary exposes the consequences of company relocation. It follows a textile worker couple who lose their jobs with luxury goods group LVMH, who is outsourcing work to other countries. (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, known as LVMH, is headquartered in Paris.) With the couple facing the loss of their home, the film director devises a plan for the group’s boss, the richest man in France, to give them money.

A sort of David and Goliath of modern times, the documentary is filled with humorous moments.

Director François Ruffin is the editor of an independent left newspaper and part of a group of activists who, in February,launched a protest movement against the proposed revision of the French Labour Code. He has travelled throughout France to present the film and discuss it with audiences.

Those who enjoy the cinema of American doc maker Michael Moore will appreciate Merci Patron. So far, the film is to be released in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada.

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