The following list of films related to labor/work was compiled by Lynn Duggan, Indiana University, from three sources:
- Responses to an inquiry sent out to the UALE list in January, 2015,
- Responses to a similar inquiry sent out to the list of the Union for Radical Political Economy's in 2014, and
- A list of recent labor films put together by Indiana University Labor Studies work study student.
The responses from the email lists are as they came in, and not further organized. The list at the bottom is organized by film length.
If you have additional suggestions, please send them to the webmaster
Films suggested by readers since the page went up are here
Responses from cemail inquiry (Individual responses are separated by a horizontal line)
Black Girl, like all of Ousmane Sembene's films, is excellent; and - like all of his films - gives a western audience a real feel for West Africa
Having taught a course on Sembene many years ago, I couldn't agree with brother Bigman more; a fabulous director. Black Girl is his first feature, and not as polished as later ones, but still powerful.
Monicelli "The Organizer". With Marcelli Mastroianni. About a strike in Turin. Still one of the best!
I'd also recommend The Molly McGuires, directed by Martin Ritt (director of Norma Rae, and this is better), with Sean Connery, Richard Harris, and Samantha Eggar. Makes a really interesting pair with On the Waterfront, since Ritt, fingered by OTW director Elia Kazan before HUAC, waited fifteen years and made a quite different film about workers and a stool pigeon in their midst.
I asked my friends at Working Films – great organization connecting film makers with activists and organizers – and Molly Murphy there suggested: The Hand That Feeds and Food Chains. She says she can make introductions/connections if needed - www.workingfilms.org
El Salvador – 7089-5910 (country code 503)
USA – 503-339-5779 or computer phone 503-877-6634 (best for messages)
Here are a few more:
- The Take , Naomi Klein & Avi Lewis's 2004 documentary about workers who take over a ceramics factory in Argentina
- Pride : currently showing at a theatre near you, gay activists work to support striking mineworkers in UK in 1984. Fictionalized but based on true story. Mostly from gay angle, rather than workers', but still…
- SEWA , the Self Employed Women's Association in India has a video project and has produced a number of documentaries about their movement and the work they do. Here's a listing: http://www.videosewa.org/ourwork.htm
- "Morristown: In the Air and Sun " (2007) documentary by Anne Lewis about factory flight from TN to Mexico, and the struggles of workers in both places.
Then here are some old classics:
- "With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade" during auto sit-down strikes in '30's. (1979)
- "The Killing Floor" (1985) "Set during WWI, 2 African-American men deal with racism in workplace and union"
- "Harlan County USA" (1976) Oscar winning film by Barbara Kopple about miners strike
- "Silkwood" (1983)
The Navigators (Ken Loach & Rob Dawber, UK)
The Town is Quiet (Robert Guediguian, France)
Here's a movie course--all feature movies, which may not exactly be what you want. These are all classics, of course.
At the bottom is the outline for a course just finished on strikes, with documentary movies.
Live Nude Girls is terrific. We had Julia Query out for a presentation.
Fast Food Nation is also good, and you can invite workers who are organizing in the industry
Also---a great current movie about work/workers is Pride .
Aside from Morristown: in the air and sun (based in Morristown, TN, Juarez, and Guanajuato), there are a few more of mine that you can check out. Fast Food Women (1/2 hour) made in '93 is unfortunately still timely; Justice in the Coalfields (60 min) about the UMWA strike against Pittston and its aftermath; and Mine War on Blackberry Creek starring the young Don Blankenship (1/2 hour).
There are a few clips from Justice on my website www.annelewis.org including one about right to work. Trailer is here:
Morristown trailer is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arwOCBF0SEw. The whole film for preview is https://vimeo.com/95627924 Fast Food Women is on vimeo https://vimeo.com/49954840 Mine War on Blackberry Creek is streaming http://appalshop.org/film/minewar/stream.html
Here are some resources:
Tom Zaniello Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor.
The Labor Film Database http://laborfilms.com/
Finally, UALE has a Labor Filmmakers Working Group Facebook Page is Labor Filmmakers United http://laborfilms.com/ There are a number of fine filmmakers including:
Luis Argueta (AbUSed: the Postville Raid) Andrew Friend (Chicago Teachers Strike–[Schoolidarity]) Joan Sekler Vivian Price (Transnational Tradeswomen) Howard Kling (labor education service) Andy Garrison (Trash Dance)
Innovations or Hucksterism? Three Little-Known Infrastructure Privatization Problems http://truth-out.org/news/item/28142-innovations-or-hucksterism-three-little-known-infrastructure-privatization-problems
Earlier news stories can be found at this link: http://truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/44747
For a change of pace, the 2014 movie Pride, showing solidarity between the striking British miners in the 1980s and a London-based LGBT group that adopted a mining community. Here's info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_(2014_film)
In addition to Anne Lewis’s suggestion of Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor, surveying about 330 films, a later book, The Cinema of Globalization: A Guide to Films about the New Economic Order, with about 200 films, should also be helpful.
There are also some labor film resources in the online version of the UALE resource guide: <http://guides.library.cornell.edu/c.php?g=32362&p=203879>
See a list of "5 Labor Movies Everyone Should Watch At Least Once" at <http://www.labor411.org/411-blog/414-5-must-see-movies-on-labor-day>
I also like to use the film Made in Dagenham about the Ford plant in the UK and fight for equal pay.
AbUSed: The Postville Raid by my friend Luis Argueta is also excellent.
It does not take an international perspective, but “The Strike at Forty” a documentary about the 1970 US Postal Strike made by the National Association of Letter Carriers is an excellent look at that strike, mixing in news footage from the time with interviews of workers involved in the strike reflecting back on the strike 40 years later. It is inspirational and relevant to all workers, not just public sector.
I keep thinking of more as I type this, but I’ll just mention one more. The AFSCME 10 minute documentary “I am a Man” about the Memphis Sanitation strike and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in it, is also excellent and powerful.
I showed and led a discussion of “Drink ‘em Dry” at the local labor council, and folks really liked it. They enjoyed the innovative campaign tactic (instead of calling for a boycott of the brewery employer who locked them out, get the community to drink all the inventory), and were also very happy to see labor put one in the win column.
Free copies of the DVD and a discussion guide were handed out at the UALE conference a few years ago. I think it’s still available, possibly still for free, from the New Brunswick Union: http://www.nbu.ca/drinkemdry/
For about 15 years, every year in Washington DC there is a labor film fest. Here is a link to this past year's film fest and if you google DC labor film fest, you may be able to find programs of past years' films. They have a great variety of films and whoever coordinates it really knows her/his stuff.
http://www.dclabor.org/dc-laborfest.html. There is a link on this opening page to this past year's program. Wish we all had these in our respective cities!
Also to add to suggestions: Billy Elliot, the movie about the Vegas strike by Unite-Here, Made in LA (maybe somoene already added these).
On the satirical side - a fine lesson from Jib Jab: [Big Box Mart, to the tune of Oh Susannah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv6RcXa2UI
In this funny cartoon, an honest factory worker learns the truth about his favorite department store: that there's a very high cost for everyday low prices. Namely, unemployment!
View the original version of this video in high-res:
In the satire category, let's not forget "Nine to Five"
And for big box stores, more serious than the Jib jab short, there is Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
The Killing Floor, Elsa Rassbach
H2 Worker, Stephanie Black
If Stone Could Speak, Randy Croce
Out at Work, Tammy Gold
If you can find them - Coup pour Coup (Blow for Blow) is a really excellent film, with women factory workers (not professional actors) and a more serious plot line about women striking back at their boss; and two shorts - The Inheritance, a nice piece by ACTWU on the role of immigrants in building the US labor movement; and The Counting Starts with One, an old Steelworkers video on the difference one or two folks can make in getting things moving, with a particularly great segment showing old retirees explaining how all the company's "gifts" to workers were actually won.
No one has yet said Salt of the Earth. That is the only labor movie to make that Smithsonian century list as I recall.
I have used North County, based on true story of women entering mine work.
Generates questions about women and men’s work, role of unions, equity, justice, etc.
One great documentary is At The River I Stand, about the Memphis sanitation workers strike.
I also have used Tony Buba's Struggles in Steel, about the civil rights movement in the steel industry, certainly about "the nature of labor on a changing planet."
Tom Zaniello's "The cinema of globalization; a guide to films about the new economic order" and "Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor" most likely includes many or even most of the films people have mentioned - plus much more.
Regarding labor studies and history films, I have enjoyed showing my classes [often only short excerpts during class time] and professional and public groups such labor classics as Human Resources, The Inheritance, The Organizer, Made in L.A., Matewan, Modern Times , and clips from several Michael Moore films, More specific to your theme as I understand it: I liked Morristown: In the Air and Sun, c. 2007 about US workers responding to globalization impacts, also Drink 'Em Dry, Fast Food Women, Locked Out, This is What Democracy Looks Like, and Workers' Republic
Re: the wide variety of excellent labor films, I reviewed for the Labor Studies Journal (see Fall 1998, pp. 117-8) Tom Zaniello's excellent "Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films about Labor." It and his more recent "The cinema of globalization; a guide to films about the new economic order" likely include most of the excellent films we have all mentioned as well as scores of other fine recommendations.
Re: Michigan labor history and current events, there are several videos available via my personal website under Media, https://www.msu.edu/~revitte/media.htm. Educators will find a couple videos with which I was involved creating or being an interviewee. I think From Calumet to Kalamazoo, Detroit: The Making of a Union Town, Rivera's Labor Legacy, and Whatever Happened to Organized Labor? might be useful for providing historic context regarding Detroit and Michigan's labor history. In solidarity; jr.
did anyone mention Tommy Douglas, black cats, white cats?
Here's the link to Mouseland--if you haven't seen it, it's a classic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqgOvzUeiAA
Responses from URPE to email inquiry (Individual responses are separated by a horizontal line)
Matewan, as you surely know, is a classic on worker division and unity during a strike in the mines of W. VA.
"Last Train Home" is about migrant workers in China, shown on POV, PBS - a documentary. Haven't seen it.
see also, especially:laborfilms.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_about_the_labor_movement
I think the movie Matewan (1986/1987?) is a good film, but it is very long.
Rosa Luxemburg - A powerful, moving, and accurate 1986 West German biography of the great revolutionary. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta.
I watched "For Man Must Work" just now - thanks for the reference! I liked it, but I wonder whether students would find it a bit dense and the message somewhat unclear, overall. It covers a lot of ground, and although it tells a somewhat different story, I still like Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story for its clarity and forcefulness. You might be interested in these two shorts that I plan to use in my class this term:
- “Neoliberalism as Water Balloon,” (2009) Directed by Tim McCaskell, produced by Richard Fung http://vimeo.com/6803752 (12 minutes)
- “The Curious Case of the Missing Recovery,” (2010), Directed by Michael Connolly, produced by CAW, Canada https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTjEMTaJeEU (13 minutes 25 seconds)
They have the advantage of being available online. As does "For Man Must Work," btw, because it's an NFB film.
I've used "Workingman's Death" in class. It's pretty good but difficult to get a handle on. That is, it raises lots of questions but doesn't push any particular position. It also isn't as intense as the title promises; it's really about difficult work or bad working conditions or just hardship on the job, rather than "jobs that kill". It's more about development, IMO, than OSH.
"China Blue" is a classic and may be slightly out of date, since things move so quickly in China, but I think it's extraordinary, one of my all time favorite documentaries.
"Whore's Glory" is by the same people who made "Workingman's Death". It is utterly harrowing, showing us prostitution in several countries, from Thailand to Bangladesh to Mexico. Profound and depressing.
The new Dardenne brothers movie ("Two Days and One Night") has gotten spectacular reviews. All their stuff is fantastic, however. I haven't seen "2+1" yet, and it may be hard to get since it's just out.
For a classic try "Salt of the Earth" and for something more recent "China Blue".
Salt of the Earth?
"The Molly Maguires" (which mentions "Norma Rae," another goodie, at the end of the article). --
I recommend the 1993 French film "Germinal" (based on Emile Zola's late 19th-century novel). Here is the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germinal_%281993_film%29
Norma Rae is still relevant as fictional account of unionization at JP Stevens (and students find the "hollywood" style easy to take!
It might work for you to show the 27-minute Meeting Face to Face: The Iraq-U.S. Labor Solidarity Tour in your IU program. I made it in 2006, documenting a 2005 tour of 26 U.S. cities by six Iraqi trade union leaders, organized by U.S. Labor Against the War. The video lets the Iraqis tell the story of their labor movement, the issues they face, the reasons they oppose the U.S. war and occupation in their country despite being glad that Saddam was gone from power. They connected at a deep level with their American union audiences, who saw that the issues the Iraqis faced were the same we face in the U.S. The tour built strong bonds of solidarity between our two labor movements.
See it at <MeetingFacetoFace.org>.
Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life
State University of New York
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384
List of recent labor films
The following is a non-exhaustive list put together by our Labor Studies (Indiana Univ. Bloomington) work-study student Sam Myren, based on some labor film festivals from the web. The Highly Recommended Labor Films website (see below), is followed by an update with highlighted countries (if not US) and color coded online links for the films (see below), categorized by length, from shorter to longer films.
|Color code for links|
|films marked||can be found at|
|●||Workers Unite Film Festival|
|●||Reel Work Labor Film Festival|
|20 minutes or less||20-60 minutes||full length|
Highly Recommended Labor Films
http://laborfilms.com/category/a-highly-recommended-labor-films/ (This is a subset of laborfilms.com/ mentioned in the responses above)
20 Minutes or Less
This film offers humanizing portraits of Goddard College faculty whose lives have been fraught by a climate of uncertainty in the pursuit of job fairness and dignity, over the past year of collective bargaining negotiations.
Two women job seekers from different generations and opposite ends of Spain face very different ways of immigrating to Germany.
Trials and tribulations of a job applicant
Unemployed waiting for the day’s pickings.
Healing across the Divides (10 minutes), 2013 ●
A short film and presentation from this foundation, that reaches out to marginalized working people on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to help increase the delivery of health and wellness services to these underserved populations. A fascinating look at how cooperation on key issues by workers might pave a path of understanding, critical for the future of peace in the MiddleEast.
Holy Apostles Church Soup Kitchen (10 minutes), 2013 ●
John Redmond's no holds barred portrait of the homeless population of downtown Manhattan, as they come to get the good food provided for the community by the Chelsea Church of the Holy Apostles. We hear what it is like to be homeless in the unequal economy of NYC and how it feels to know your only decent meal of the day will come from a church soup kitchen. ●
The Interviewer (12 minutes), 2012●
Get a glimpse at the obstacles to meaningful employment faced by people with intellectual disabilities in this humorous and poignant film.
For Iraqis the war the U.S. waged there continues with harsh effects, even though for most Americans that war is over and done with. This short video gives voice to Iraqi workers and union leaders – men and women - as they explain the repression they face, the efforts they are making to secure a new labor law that allows Iraqi workers to form unions, and their call for international labor solidarity. Basra in October 2012.
Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor (17 minutes), 2013 ●
This film takes the audience on an intimate journey into the daily life of Judith, a street vendor from Guatemala who lives and works in New York City. We see the struggles she and her fellow vendors face daily on the city's streets and shows her community's attempts to change their conditions as immigrants and workers. Judith's hopes for the future and her aspirations as a mother, worker and community organizer is a compelling, universal story about access to the American Dream.
Lonche (20 minutes), 2013●
A tale of two taco trucks – an intimate portrait of family, labor and sacrifice, filmed locally.
Love Crisis (7 minutes), 2013●
Date night in a Madrid plaza: a tongue-in-cheek look at how unemployment affects personal relationships.
This film is the first film to expose the real role and ideology of “open shop” states that prevent unionization. Canadians capitalists are now pushing to model Canadian labor laws on open shop anti-labor U.S. states like Georgia. Canadian Ontario Public Service Employees Union decided they wanted to tell the real story about these states in the US and made a documentary.
The story of Lilly Ledbetter, a former manager at Goodyear Tire in Gadsden, AL. On Jan 29, 2009 Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended the statute of limitations to reset 180 days after each discriminatory paycheck is issued.
Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp (17 minutes), 2014●
What would it take for a homeless camp to work here?
Sinceridad (3 minutes), 2013●
The trauma of getting a job in Spain
Sky Blue Collar (8 minutes), 2013 ●
A businessman and a carpet installer enjoy a wild and playful friendship, but when their class-conscious bosses pressure them to steer clear of each other, the Romeo and Juliet of the workaday world must decide what's more important: how we make a living, or who we're living for.
Tala (13 minutes), 2014 ●
Tala is a young Filipino domestic worker living with a bourgeois family on the north shore of Montreal. As she runs through her daily chores, dealing with the eccentricities of her employers, an unexpected phone call puts her at great risk of getting fired. Shot in a single long take and inspired by the current 'Live-In Caregiver' program of the Canadian federal government, 'Tala' tells a story of subtle oppression and re-empowerment.
United Nations Day (9 minutes), 2013●
What are unions for? Haitian union leaders explain the importance of unions and the necessity of them. The documentary shows unions in action from peasantry and schools to hospitals and municipal services.
With tactics ranging from hunger strikes with lips stitched shut to a nearly 1,000-day sit-in at the U.S. Embassy, Colombian workers are putting the world’s attention on General Motors’ treatment of its workers. This film tells the incredible story of an association of injured workers who have taken on one of the most powerful corporations in the world, and have won victories they never thought were possible.
A Sottish artist travels to Ecuador to observe the formation of the first trade unions in the banana sector for 30 years. The Los Alamos banana workers decide to go on strike for the most basic rights. The owner and company do not like unions. The artist is a powerful eyewitness account of what happens to workers who dare stand up against a powerful oligarch.
Bread, Concrete and Roses (42 minutes), 2013●
Turkey. Shows the dangerous life of construction workers in a foreign land far from their homeland, and their social problems.
The Coca-Cola Case (52 minutes), 2007/10/13/13 ●
-A Movement Erupts (Stop Killer Coke Campaign)
-Coke’s Union Strategy (animation)
-Child Labor in El Salvador
-Martin Luther King calls for a boycott of racist Coke in his “Dream” speech, 1968
-Coming Together and The Real Bears (Animation with Jason Mraz score and vocal)
-Killer Coke Campaign challenging Coke CEO at Stockholders Meeting
Default: the Student Loan Documentary (27 minutes), 2011●
Stories of borrower from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system.
Expect Resistance (36 minutes), 2014 ●
Looks at the “Take Back the Land” and Occupy Wall Street movements as they began to respond to the foreclosure crisis. Follows Leonard Spears, a man fighting to keep his home after a foreclosure has passed and an eviction notice has been filed. We meet activists who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend people like Leonard.
Exploring the Sanctuary Camp Concept (28 minutes), 2014●
Successful camps in West Coast cities that are providing housing for homeless.
False Profits (South Africa) (31 minutes) ●
This documentary film focuses on the global economic crisis, its impact on the working class and the responses by trade unions, government and big business in South Africa. Progressive and pro-worker in its critique, this film is stunning for telling such a similar story of collapse by big banks and capital, leading to massive unemployment and frustration by workers who remain angry today and are ready to consider serious alternatives to the current economic system.
What does the future of work look like in the context of radical human enhancement technologies that promise to change our bodies and mind forever?
Documentary: documents firsthand the turmoil in the aftermath of the British Miners’ Strike of 1984 and the parallel struggle of the UMWA in its long running battle with Pittston Coal. Brings to life the real struggles of working people at the pivotal moment when state power was used to open the floodgates to global capital, aid the destruction of coalfield communities and its labor institutions.
Follows the lives and families near the Tarapur power plant (India), which promised jobs, healthcare, and economic growth for a nearby village. Not fulfilling their promises, the power plant has instead corrupted their fishing water, infected the villagers with a wide array of diseases, and taken control of the police to arrest the villagers when they spoke out.
The Internationale (30 minutes), 2000
Draws on people’s stories of an emotionally charged radical song (the long-time anthem of socialism and communism) to celebrate the relationship between music and social change, and to evaluate the uncertain fate of once thriving movements of the left.
Maestra (34 minutes), 2013 ●
Explores the experience of eight women who, as young girls, taught on the Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961.The film begins in 1961, when Cuba announced that they would eradicate illiteracy in one year. Over 250,000 citizens volunteered. Interviews, recorded testimonials, and powerful archival footage tell this story. The teachers lived with the families they taught, working alongside them in the fields during the day & teaching classes (often by lantern) at night. In the midst of the campaign, the Bay of Pigs was invaded, and in spite of the dangers and difficulties, their eyes sparkle as they share their stories and each of them insists this was the most important thing they had ever done.
Meeting Face to Face; The Iraq-U.S. Labor Solidarity Tour (27 minutes), 2012 ●
Follows six senior Iraqi labor leaders as they tour 25 US cities speaking to union audiences, university forums, and community gatherings.
On The Merits (33 minutes), 1982 ●
Takes a serious look at the crazy years of Ed Koch Administration, when Mayor “How Am I Doing?” was busy handing out patronage goodies to sleazy lawbreakers and outright criminals, while honest civil servants languished on the legal hiring lists.
In 1981 Silme and Domingo were killed for asking for reform in Seattle’s Alaska Cannery. It turns out it was not just another gang related slaying, but rather the killings were revealed to be a hit originating from the Marcos Regime. Silme’s and Domingo’s families and friends sought justice for the murders and continued to fight for equality for the months and years to come. Details the murders, the fight for fair labor conditions, the civil rights movement the murdered men helped foster, and the ensuing efforts to seek justice for their killings.
Zambia’s copper resources have not made the country rich in a textbook case of neo-colonial exploitation.
Taking the Heart (60 minutes), 2008 ●
Captain Brenda Berkman of the FDNY broke every barrier in her rise to be one of the few women to lead an FDNY station, and she paid the price. Under constant attack by her own colleagues on the force, who would not adjust to a woman doing what had in the past been a man’s job, she served with honor, valor and dignity and established a path that more and more women each year travel in their efforts to serve their city. She is a true hero of NYC and a hero to workingwomen everywhere.
In Savar, Bangladesh, Razia struggles to raise two grandchildren after losing her daughters in the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a disaster which claimed the lives of over 1000 garment workers. One year on, Tears in the Fabric follows Razia as, amidst the struggle of raising and educating her grandsons, she searches for resolution and answers through protest on the streets of Dhaka and amongst the rubble and torn fabrics of Rana Plaza.
Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz (32 minutes), 2012 ●
Tells a story of a young woman’s survival during Nazi invasion of Poland.
Tooth Fairy (40 minutes), 2013 ●
Follows a 5 foot tall dynamo of working people’s dentist, as she tries to make her way as a professional both serving the working class neighborhood of Washington Heights, traveling to developing countries to offer free dental services and trying to find her own path as a single working woman in the often confusing world of NYC.
Under the Bus (45 minutes), 2013 ●
Bus drivers unite and go on strike in New York City where they are brought to the picket line battling harsh winter weather, a media blackout, Union politics and a Mayor who refuses to negotiate.
Paris, 2009. More than 6000 undocumented migrants go on strike to demand their legalization. They have worked and paid taxes in France for years. Now that their protest is public, there is no way back.
Wisconsin Rising (57 minutes), 2013●
Madison in 2011 was the testing ground as big money and power waited to see how far they could push back people’s rights.
Workers Republic (60 minutes), 2010 ●
In December of 2008, laid off Chicago factory workers took over their closing workplace (during the recession) declaring they would not leave until the owners and creditors agreed to pay them the severance they were owed. These people are part of the Republic Windows and Doors union.
10 Years on: Afghanistan and Pakistan (35 minutes), 2011 ●
Documentary. Shows how after a decade of war, Afghans unite against the U.S occupation and repression of women. Workers and peasants fighting back with militant strikes and protests throughout the country.
Korea. After a major debate in Korea over the struggle against the privatization of the national rail system, the director looks at how privatization has been implemented globally and what it has meant for working people and the public. Further, it considers Korean today and how it is facing major battles not only over privatization of the railway system KORAIL but also the effects of the deregulation pushed by the US government, which is creating one catastrophe after another including the recent Ferry disaster where hundreds of children, passengers and crew died.
Provides a concrete overview of how the newspaper industry’s liquidation has affected the journalist and the fight to keep papers alive. The paper publishers want the journalists to write about what will make the paper money and not the truth.
Brothers on the Line (80 minutes), 2012 ●
A portrait of the lives of 3 labor leaders of United Auto Workers Union. Film follows the brothers as they rise from militant shop-floor organizers to visionary statesmen in collective bargaining, civil rights and international labor solidarity.
Cesar’s Last Fast (100 minutes), 2014 ●
The life of Cesar Chavez: how he organized America’s Latino civil rights movement who were treated poorly in the work place.
The film navigates the steady stream of television history’s impact on the perception of the working class, from fake courtroom shows to sitcoms.
The Conditions of the Working Class in England (82 minutes), 2012●
Shows daily struggle of working people and connects their struggles today with the same struggles from 1844.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine in solidarity with the DREAM Act Dreamers.
Follows the struggle of Samsung workers (Korea) who defend their health and safety and get compensation from the company. The corporation refused to admit that workers were getting cancer from the chemicals and toxins that were used in the plants.
Even the Rain (110 minutes), 2010
As a director and his crew shoot a controversial film about Christopher Columbus in Cochabamba (Bolivia), local people rise up against plans to privatize the water supply.
Finding the Mother Lode: Italian Immigrants in California (104 minutes), 2013●
Story of California Italians and their labor from the gold rush and the vineyards to the fishing fleets.
The Forgotten Space (112 minutes), 2010●
Investigates global maritime trade. Highlights displaced farmers and villagers in Holland to underpaid truck drivers in Los Angeles to Filipino maids in China. Offers a sobering portrait of workers’ conditions, the inhuman scale of sea trade and the secret lives of port cities.
Forward (78 minutes), 2013 ●
An activist-level view of the uprising that swept state senators out of office, triggered the third governor recall election in American history, and inspired the Occupy movement that swept the country. This film uses the reflections of people involved in the protests of winter 2011 to show what galvanized non-radicals into a movement that quickly drew international attention to Madison, Wisconsin for political action unlike anything seen in America since the Vietnam War.
● -- with update – Frank hess?
Gives in-depth insight into the profound crisis that Greece is facing today. Greece is in complete social, political, and economical collapse. A team travels to Greece and interviewed political activists. Covers a large range of change of the political landscape.
It’s the General Strike of 1926. Movie follows the journey of law-abiding citizens who become law-breakers in a heroic battle against the state.
Every year there are more than 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, schools and homes to pick the food we all eat. The movie profiles a family who must use their children to harvest as they journey in Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards and back south to the humidity of Florida’s tomato fields.
A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class & workers, this film features Robert Reich-professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member-as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who's overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. In this INCONVENIENT TRUTH for the economy, Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us.
The Invisible War (93 minutes), 2012●
The prevalence of sexual assault in the United States military is heartbreaking.
Jews and Baseball (91 minutes), 2012 ●
The stereotype of Jews as non-athletic, as well as anti-Semitism, are two issues that many Jewish baseball players faced and had to overcome. All ballplayers were exploited until the formation of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The film is in part about Jewish immigration, assimilation into American society, bigotry against Jews, the passing on of Jewish traditions even during assimilation, heroism, and the breaking of Jewish stereotypes.
The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (65 minutes), 1986 ●
The U.S. entry into World War II created an unprecedented demand for new workers. Thousands of posters and billboards appeared calling on women to "Do the Job He Left Behind." Rosie the Riveter was born — the symbol of working women during World War II. The story is told by the women themselves, five former "Rosies," who movingly recall their histories working in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco during the war. Their testimony is interwoven with rare archival recruitment films, stills, posters, ads and music from the period, which contrast their experiences with the popular legend and mythology of Rosie the Riveter.
Memory of Past Struggles (107 minutes)●
Argentina. Shows how workers form 1969 were organizing independently of the Peronist labor movement including the powerful 1975 General Strike. Also shows role of the bosses and government, which helped usher in mass repression eventually leading to a military dictatorship in 1976. Thousands of workers and labor activists were kidnapped and murdered as part of this US supported military coup in 1976.
Tells story of the organized massacre of 34 unarmed miners by the government of South Africa and the owners of the Lonmin platinum mine. Follows strike from day one, as the miners struggle for justice and human rights, they face not only a hostile management, but also a government now includes one of the owners of the mine. Shows the union trying to negotiate with the company while the ANC government tries to physically destroy the movement.
or newer film on Triangle?
Focuses on the tragedy at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory over 104 years ago and how the tragedy sparked massive labor unrest, organizing, demonstrations and ultimately brought the foundation of today’s occupational health and safety laws.
Nuclear Power, Repression and Education Workers under Attack (Minutes?), unknown year●
The Japanese Abe government is using its power to influence teachers to teach that Fukushima has been “decontaminated” and that the 50 restarting nuclear plants are a good thing. They are saying that people can “overcome” radiation. The teachers are fighting back against this and the Japanese movement to eliminate the clause disallowing Japan to begin an imperial war.
Parents of the Revolution (80 minutes), 2014 ●
Follows a group of activist parents in the Occupy Wall Street movement who believe that it’s their democratic duty to teach their kids to speak out against injustice. Are they heroes who are bringing up their kids with a civic conscience or agitators who are using their children as human shields? Chronicles this group’s activities and raises some issues about what it means to teach kids about social justice and how our government ‘parents’ her citizens. As the protests escalate, one of the lead parents struggle with their mission. They are accused of brainwashing their kids and using them as human shields. In the face of these crises, Kirby is able to overcome her past to become a truly great leader who helps bring her community together.
Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. The film is an early treatment of feminism. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces.
Through the eyes of public school teachers fighting for the benefit of all their students, Schoolidarity tells the interwoven story of the two most significant American workers' rights struggles of recent years: the weeks-long 2011 mass occupation of the Wisconsin capitol, and the Chicago teachers strike of 2012. Schoolidarity provides a history of the issues surrounding the privatization of urban public schools in the US. By documenting the ascent of the activist teacher caucus CORE, Chicago's public schools crisis is analyzed through the lens of the assault on public sector unions, where defeats are just as important to study as victories in order to insure education justice for all.
Secure, dignified jobs in employee-owned workplaces in the US and Spain help stabilize the local economy.
Tatanka (86 minutes), 2013 ●
Follows the bizarre and heartrending journey of one man whose unchecked idealism helped change the world but nearly tore his family apart. Behind every activist that fought for civil rights or occupied Wall Street, there was a loved one who also sacrificed.
Truth through a Lens (65 minutes), 2013 ●
Follows the evolution of Brooklyn street kid, subway train tagger and local community organizing legend, Dennis Flores. Dennis had the courage to pick up a camera, when he saw his neighbors being physically abused for simply demanding decent housing and better treatment by the local police. Of course Dennis quickly becomes the target of those for whom telling the truth is not necessarily considered part of the daily job.
Where Soldiers Come From (92 minutes), 2011●
A chronicle of four years in the lives of childhood friends as they enter a faraway war.
Follows mass protests against the first European economic experiment with a massive austerity program to privatize and destroy social services. “Thick clouds of smoke covered the angry protests around Syntagma Square” in 2011, while a “majority of 155 deputies of the Greek Parliament bowed down to the austerity agenda.” The working class and many others engaged in mass protests and faced violence against them by the police.
New Suggestions sunce the page went up
Two Days One Night, is a new film from France, which is a powerful exploration of the non-unionized workplace in the global economy. It explores the contingency of work and how that is directly tied to profit motivations grounded in pitting working people against each other. Mental Disability, Race, Gender, and the challenges of developing class consciousness are all here in a very accessible accessible film that really brings us into the life of these folks. I highly recommend this one. Jerry