Irish woman Maureen Kearney (played magnificently, as always, by Isabelle Huppert), was a trade union leader in France in 2011. Working in a large nuclear engineering company, she finds out that the new management are planning to sell off France's nuclear technology to China. Her life changes when she turns whistleblower; she begins to get threats at home and eventually, a masked man breaks in and brutally sexually assaults her.
"The thing is, to the police, she is the wrong kind of victim. Why is she so composed? She doesn't cry, and tells her story calmly, like she's rehearsed it, the lead detective says. Kearney's #MeToo legal hell begins" - Cath Clarke again.
This is not a comfortable film to watch, especially when we remember this actually happened. Her life was doubly wrecked, first by the attack and then by the barrage of lies spread about her by the police and judiciary. There are even some reviewers who knock the film itself - "I'd be the first to admit La Syndicaliste isn't perfect (much of the camera-work is anonymous; there are multiple loose ends). But the nuclear force of Huppert's performance makes such gripes irrelevant. La Syndicaliste shows how easy it is to destroy the lives of low-paid workers and those who represent them. No Gallic shrug from Huppert. She gives a damn" - Charlotte O'Sullivan, Evening Standard.
“[Huppert] is a genuinely singular talent in modern European cinema, and her ability to take a role like this and infuse it with stillness and subterranean complexities is nothing less than mesmerising.”
“Isabelle Huppert carries it along with a performance every bit as gripping as you’d expect.”