Who is the woman addressing as she looks over her shoulder, eyes cast down, and speaks? The director, the audience, an invisible third party? Softly, yet firmly, she explains that ‘we have to trust each other’. The opening scene sets the tone of the film. We see and hear powerful machinery and deafening noise; people operating the machines, feeding them, full of concentration, locked into abstract processes; conversations during breaks in the locker room and the cafeteria. But Denis Côté’s Que ta joie demeure is not a documentary about being a slave to the machine, alienation, dehumanisation or exploitation. Sound and image, editing and dramatic structure are merely employed to transpose workshops and factory floors into the cinematic space so as to explore the bizarre environments that workers adapt to and with which they skillfully interact, as if humanity had never done anything else since time immemorial. This too is part of the fiction that slowly but surely creeps in, impossible to separate from the documentary elements – cinema has no need for such distinctions. It can show what people in reality avert their eyes from, like the blazing light in a welding shop.
by Denis Côté
with Guillaume Tremblay, Emilie Sigouin, Hamidou Savadogo, Ted Pluviose, Cassandre Emmanuel