Hard-working family man Pierre (Laroche) transfers to the night shift in a French provincial bottle factory only to meet hostility from co-worker Fred (Barbé). What starts out as mean-spirited but harmless joshing soon escalates to something more threatening; and though Pierre does his best to understand his tormentor's troubled background, he can't quite face a physical confrontation with a much more powerful rival. Le Guay's film displays steely reserve as it aims straight for the modern male's sensitive parts. New Man reasonableness is all very well, but what if you have to punch your way towards self-respect? Would your so-called friends lift a finger to help you? What does it do to a father-son relationship when the latter sees the bully as the 'real man'? This never pretends there are easy answers to any of these questions; as tension builds towards confrontation, subtle erotic longings flicker between ostensibly heterosexual males, and workplace solidarity comes under scrutiny. The cast (no big names here) inhabit their roles beautifully, while there are enough unexpected deviations to keep things interesting. A thoughtful nail-biter.