Body of Work

La Rémouleuse

Alain Cavalier
1987 • France • 13’

Marie is a knife grinder in the streets of Paris. Cavalier films this portrait of a wretched life in a film studio.
Each portrait in this series is made up of an interview by Alain Cavalier with a woman working in Paris in a rare or endangered profession. In the workplace, they talk about their profession and its techniques, their training and history, their tastes and their daily life. These portraits are as documentary as they are intimate and reveal astonishing personalities and worlds of work.
“These portraits are encounters I wanted to keep from oblivion, even if it is only while you are watching them. My wish is to document female manual work. My hope is that between the first and the last portrait you will also see the story of a film-maker’s work. I am not a documentary film-maker. I am more a lover of faces, hands and objects. I love the generosity of these women who allow me to film them.” – Alain Cavalier

Body of Work