Refineries and me | Humanity
I think I’m the only French actress to have acted twice in oil refineries.
In 2012, in Petit-Couronne for Petroplus and in Grandpuits, in 2020, for Total. Or rather for the workers of these two refineries. How had I found myself there?
The first time, I played « How to marry a billionaire » and I had been invited to the oldest refinery in France, placed in liquidation. They were hoping for a recovery. I remember Yvon Scornet telling me the story, they had recovered and seized bins full of petroleum products – petrol, oil, bitumen… They had 60 million in a bank account. It fascinated me. He had taken me on a tour of the refinery with Baptiste, my manager. The video is on YouTube; at the time, I was filming everything. He showed me the acronyms, the risks: « Burns, poisoning. » You have colors, yellow and purple; there, you have a risk of legionellosis, you can die from it. H2S: when it smells like a rotten egg, it’s fine; when it smells more, it’s deadly. Arrived at certain doses, it is deadly immediately, I almost got screwed once. I restarted, I primed, the tide turned. »
There was a pylon with the number of days without accidents since the beginning of the year. He explained to me the 12-hour shifts, the 8-hour shifts… They had 60 million euros in an account and they weren’t even touching it.
« That’s interest, right?
– Yes, but since you have to pay a trustee to manage the account, it costs 29,000 euros per month. It pays but as we have costs, it does not bring anything. »
I had met a technician who hadn’t shaved his beard since they went into liquidation. I remember that the workers had occupied the site for months to hope for a buyer, that the state betrayed them and that they were exhausted. I had suggested taking a few thousand euros for a weekend in Honolulu but they had told me that it was money for the recovery or for the social plan.
A few days after my arrival, Yvon felt unwell. He had fallen from exhaustion. And the refinery was not saved.
A few years later, in 2020, under the snow,
I played at Grandpuits, a site that Total wanted to close down to relocate to a nature reserve in Uganda. In the meantime, it was about smearing the bride, letting the pipelines leak, no longer nurturing and lying.
I remember the wives of refiners who came to feed the picket and their tears at the end of the performance of my last show, that of a pregnant woman talking to her baby. I remember that all these refiners thought much more about ecology, life, children, than all those who lie about their motives.
I wonder if the people who fill their cars realize the abnegation, the courage of those who work, who live in contact with such dangerous materials. Gasoline shouldn’t be cheaper than Coke, and airplane kerosene should be taxed a long time ago. Oil, as we know, is a precious commodity that will inevitably run out. What have they done to anticipate, those who supposedly lead us? Nothing. And we will fight to the last drop.
In the meantime, I am the luckiest actress in France.