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Category Archives: Available Online

Istanbul Rising

2013
Documentary
18 Minutes
Vice News

The effort to protect the privatization of Gezi Park in Istanbul touched off one of the biggest protests and demonstrations in Turkey. This film shows how the people tried to protect the park from developers and property speculators who the AKP Prime Minister Erdogan represents.

 

Detachment

2011
Drama
Director: Tony Kaye
Writer: Carl Lund

A strong cast and good acting punctuate this drama about well-worn themes in contemporary cinema and educational discourse—failed public schools and the teachers allegedly indifferent to the pervasive, seemingly intractable social problems in them. Adrien Brody plays a substitute teacher who, in his one-month stint in a long-suffering public school, encounters teachers barely hanging on to their jobs and vocational motivation, and teenage students struggling with identity problems, abuse, and serious adult dilemmas such as prostitution. Hard-hitting indictment of not just the problems afflicting US public education but also some of the remedies advanced to solve them.

 

Food Chains

2014
Director: Sanjay Rawal
Writers: Erin Barnett, Sanjay Rawal
83 Minutes

This moving examination of the food industry illustrates the hardships that farm workers endure—appallingly low wages, long hours in often brutal conditions, wage theft, physical and sexual abuse, and virtual slavery—to bring food to Americans’ tables. Linking farms to supermarkets, the documentary focuses on the efforts of tomato pickers, as part of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, to improve their wages and working conditions through organized, high-profile campaigns against powerful supermarket chains that they supply. Narrated by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Food Chains lays bare the often hidden human costs of our food, and the human struggles for dignity and decency for those who reap the harvests—but too few of the rewards.

 

 

Cesar Chavez

2014
102 min
Biography

Director: Diego Luna
Writers: Keir Pearson (screenplay), Timothy J. Sexton
Stars: Michael Peña, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson

The film follows Chávez’s efforts to organize 50,000 farm workers in California, some of whom were braceros—temporary workers from Mexico permitted to live and work in the United States in agriculture, and required to return to Mexico if they stopped working. Working conditions are very poor for the braceros, who also suffer from racism and brutality at the hands of the employers and local Californians. To help the workers, César Chávez (Michael Peña) forms a labor union known as the United Farm Workers (UFW). Chávez’s efforts are opposed, sometimes violently, by the owners of the large industrial farms where the braceros work. The film touches on several major nonviolent campaigns by the UFW: the Delano grape strike, the Salad Bowl strike, and the 1975 Modesto march. 

 

The Grand Seduction (2013)

The small harbor of Tickle Cove is in dire need of a doctor so that the town can land a contract to secure a factory which will save the town from financial ruin. Village resident Murray French (Gleeson) leads the search, and when he finds Dr. Paul Lewis (Kitsch) he employs – along with the whole town – tactics to seduce the doctor to stay permanently.

 

Workers Republic

What would you do? Your boss gives you three days’ notice that your workplace is closing. You will be unemployed in a recession, without the severance the law says you deserve. If you are the employees of Republic Windows and Doors… you fight back! For six days in December of 2008, laid-off Chicago factory workers took over their closing workplace, declaring they would not leave until the owners and creditors agreed to pay them the severance they were owed. Republic’s credit line had been cut off by Bank of America, which had just received billions of dollars in federal bank bailout money. These 260 workers decided, “If I don’t fight, I know I’ll lose. If I do fight, at least I stand a chance of winning.” In these revolutionary times, when a new movement has risen from below to occupy Wall Street and expose the greed of bosses and banks, the workers of Republic are a beacon of hope and optimism, a microcosm of how everyday people may be the most qualified to forge a better world.

Directed by: Andrew Friend

http://vimeopro.com/insurgentproductions/andrew-friend/video/30882647

 

Bonita: Ugly Bananas

When Scottish artist, Jan Nimmo, travels to Ecuador, the world’s largest exporter of bananas, to gather workers’ testimonies, she observes 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 of rights. Alvaro Noboa, Ecuador’s richest man owns the plantation’s owner, Bonita Brands, and Noboa doesn’t like unions. Bonita is the world’s fourth largest banana company yet the workers earn a pittance, are exposed to a cocktail of toxic agrochemicals and their living conditions are appalling. Bonita is a powerful eyewitness account of what happens to workers who dare to stand up against a powerful oligarch.

Directed by: Jan Nimmo

http://www.jannimmo.com/Bonita.html


 

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