During the rehearsals of a theater adaptation of Émile Zola’s book L’Assommoir, the real and fictional lives of actress and artistic director Anne and her stage character Gervaise appear to intertwine.
Experimental and intimately filmed scenes provide insights into the constantly shifting parallel worlds between which Anne and Gervaise are navigating. The fascinating play between reality and fiction leads to a constant tension: are the intimate scenes she plays with her neighbor Benoît real or part of the play? And the outbursts of anger, the arguments and the tears?
In the meantime, serious themes are explored, such as alcohol addiction, domestic violence, the consequences of divorce, the impact of harsh Parisian life on love, and working in a male-dominated environment. The ambiguous play within a play contributes to the realization that there may actually be no distinction between reality and fiction. This inevitably leads to the question: what role are we playing ourselves?