In this funny, abrasive and moving portrait of the Kooijman car dealership, we watch as the company struggles to survive during the recession. Anyone accustomed to working in an office environment is certain to find many scenes familiar – and funny in a cringeworthy way. The viewer is invited to sit in on a performance review meeting between the boss and one of his employees. The auto mechanic gets to hear that “There’s never much of a friendly expression on your face – unless you’re in a bar, that is.” A lack of friendliness is most certainly not a good thing, and “customer experience” is what it’s all about. When it comes to marketing strategy, the Nespresso machine is Kooijman’s great example. Elsewhere, the camera follows the daily lives of several employees. And so we learn about life outside the world of targets, customer experience and customer satisfaction in scenes filmed with a photographic eye, dialogues that seem to have been written for the stage, and just the occasional voice-over. It raises the issue of how “work” is viewed in this sector – or perhaps all sectors – in the Netherlands. The filmmaker also questions the high price we are prepared to pay for status and recognition. Images of damaged cars brought into Kooijman’s garage contrast sharply with glamorous shots of car shows, leather gearshift knobs and glistening race cars.
Catherine van Campen
Joost Seelen for Zuidenwind Filmproductions
Jean Counet, Jefrim Rothuizen