In the wake of the 2008 global economic collapse, undercover journalist Florence Aubenas set out to a city where no one knew her to find work. Queuing alongside other job seekers, she found herself at the heart of a society of displaced people. She eventually secured a few hours as a cleaner aboard a ferry. The resulting book was published in 2010.
In Carrère’s screen adaptation, Binoche plays Marianne Winckler, a fictional version of Aubenas, who relocates to the port city of Caen. There, she becomes part of a large community of people desperate to make ends meet. As well as recording the lives of the people she encounters, she witnesses a system that cannot cope with the demand of people whose lives have been upturned by a system beyond their control.