Full Time (2022)

Directed by Eric Gravel

Julie finally gets an interview for a job where she can raise her children better only to run into a national transit strike.

Many reviewers have pointed out that the film has very little sympathy for the transport workers striking throughout the film. That is undoubtedly so, but that may be something of the point. Indeed, this film accurately depicts how a non-unionised precariat in temp jobs possess neither the ideological apparatus nor energy to evince sympathy for those taking organised industrial action, as detailed so well in Ivor Southwood's disarmingly prescient 2011 book, Non-Stop Inertia. Still, this interpretation/connection is ultimately left up to the viewer to make in Full Time, and the film's often-clumsy emotional moments do not encourage these subtler political readings.

Saying that, one excellent observation made within this film is the way in which Julie has faith that job at the supermarket will "always" be available to her, perhaps due to her belonging to the middle- instead of the working class. When she learns about the supermarket opportunity, she instinctively feels it is beneath her station, and the film endorses her idea that working in a supermarket is very much "below her skillset". Yet she eventually must resign herself to go for this job, and the film implies that Julie believes she will get this job without too much of a fuss due to her class and social position. Indeed, it's unambiguous that Julie is confident about the fact that, however little she actually wants it, all she needs to do is walk in and land this job...

But, bam: it's thus a big shock to her that the billion-Euro supermarket chain is just as neoliberalised and precarious as the rest of the labour market! And so Julie is not only no further in solving her immediate financial problems, she is also confused and humiliated as well. To her middle-class conception of herself, "even the supermarket" won't take her. No wonder she appears to contemplate suicide shortly after, an unsatisfying sequence given as it shows the Full Time trying to have it both ways.

As an aside, a lady bustled passed my seat just as I was about to leave: "Sorry, sorry," she said. "I'm a full-time Mum myself, and I've got to rush back."