Pauline, a self-employed nurse in a former mining district in the north of France, is raising her two children alone while also looking after her father, a former steelworker. Devoted and generous, all her patients love her. Yet nobody sees that Pauline, who finds herself facing an increasingly harsh reality, is slowly embarking on a path that no one in her family has taken before. A rising nationalist party, in search of respectability, is going to take advantage of her popularity by making her its candidate for the local elections.
Mixing fiction and documented reality, Lucas Belvaux draws a portrait of the workings of an extremist political party, in an area where economic changes have led to unemployment and disillusionment. With clear references to the French far right political party of the Front National ahead of the 2017 general elections, This Is Our Land is a charged film about the dangers of the seductive and misleading power of the far right, the rise of populism and everyday racism.
Émilie Dequenne (also in The Brigade and See You Up There) gives a strong performance going beyond clichés in her portrayal of an engaged but apolitical nurse letting herself progressively be seduced by the slogans of an extremist party… This Is Our Land will sound way too familiar.