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Foreign Film - France - Workers for the Good Lord / Les savates du bon dieu

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Workers for the Good Lord / Les savates du bon dieu
Stanislas Mehar, Raphaele Godin, Emile Abossolo M?bo
Written and directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
French with English subtitles
France 1999 / Facets 2009
106 minutes

Les savates du bon dieu / Workers for the Good Lord is an interesting foreign film DVD. French cinema is a matter of taste and sometimes a matter of how long you can stand the ponderous pseudo-intellectual trappings. It takes a while for this Jean-Claude Brisseau film to get the pieces in place but it makes for an interesting experience. It is not the ecumenical film some might believe it is. This foreign film was chosen by Cahiers du Cinema as one of the top 10 French films of 2000.

Workers for the Good Lord / Les savates du bon dieu is not a light, fluffy movie nor is it a serious social drama though it is airy and a social drama. Fred, a rather irresponsible young man who grew up and lives in the projects is left by his wife and she takes their daughter with her. He impulsively robs the local post office, post office clerk and Fred’s friend Sandrine impulsively goes with him. They meet a man named Maguette who claims to be heir to some African throne and is either a crank or a confidence man with soothsayer powers. The three go to the south of France where Fred’s wife could be and there they commit bank heists in the region.

It is somewhat hard to make heads of tails of this foreign film. You know there is some kind of socialist agenda behind it all, Fred sends a lot of the money back to the projects, but are not quite sure what is written in said agenda. For example, the film occasionally cuts to a shot of Fred’s wife posing nude on red satin sheets.

As for the title, it comes from Maguette who says all the little people are working away in the hope of earning a place in paradise but what if there is no God?

This DVD is an interesting foreign film for those who are a somewhat generous audience.

Richard Lanoie

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