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Category Archives: Available Online

Price Check (2012)

For Pete, settling down with a wife and son meant giving up his unstable musical career to work for a third-rate supermarket chain.

Cast: Parker PoseyEric MabiusAnnie Parisse

 

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

 

Ford and Taylor Scientific Management

 

The Lithuanian Jungle – Upton Sinclair-inspired Documentary

Trailer for “The Lithuanian Jungle”, the documentary feature film from Storytellers International coming in 2011. The film is based on the characters in the book “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. Filmed on location in Chicago and told in a investigative journalism style by filmmakers Randy Richards, Giedrius Subacius and Risé Sanders, this documentary reveals the unknown characters behind the literary classic.

 

Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike

Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike

 

The Homestead Steel Strike of 1892

 

Al Jazeera World : Revolution Through Arab Eyes – The Factory

A glimpse into life inside Egypt’s Mahalla textile factory – a place renowned as a cauldron of revolt where striking workers first inspired the Egyptian uprising.

 

The Road to Rock Bottom: PBS Great Depression Series (1993)

PBS Great Depression Series, #2

Producer: WGBH, Boston

Narrator: Joe Morton

53 minutes

This film, the second in the PBS Great Depression Series, examines the plight of farmers, sharecroppers, and agricultural workers before and particularly during the onset of The Great Depression. Devoting ample time to the hardships of agricultural labor, it focuses on the devastating effects that environmental factors such as drought wrought on farmers, migrant laborers, and sharecroppers alike. Sliding farm prices due to the glut of products on the market spurred a cycle of diminishing returns for most farmers, exacerbating their indebtedness and causing foreclosures, homelessness, privation, and starvation. “The Road to Rock Bottom” also devotes considerable time to the allure that Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd had among many impoverished Americans in the early Depression era. A bank robber, Floyd enjoyed popular support–and occasionally some protection–among struggling farming communities, for Floyd’s targeting banks tapped into their resentment at institutions that, on the one hand many blamed for causing the Great Depression and, on the other, were increasingly foreclosing on their farms and homes. The inability and unwillingness of the federal government to devote far more resources to battling the onslaught of poverty and desperation receives ample attention in the documentary as well. Many politicians, including President Herbert Hoover, believed that increasing the federal government’s role in the daily lives of its citizens would foster dependency that ran counter to the themes of individualism permeating both America’s political parties at that time, and long-standing American political traditions. Culminating the film is the Bonus Army’s march to and occupation of parts of Washington D.C. Its unsuccessful efforts to pressure Congress to pay the service bonus to military veterans earlier than promised resulted in violent clashes between the Army (led by Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur) and the Bonus marchers, sealing the fate of the Hoover presidency well before his overwhelming electoral defeat to Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential elections.

 

 

A Job at Ford’s: PBS Great Depression Series (1993)

PBS Great Depression Series, #1

Producer: WGBH, Boston

Narrator: Joe Morton

51 minutes

The first film in the WGBH Great Depression Series, this documentary uses the rise of the Ford system of manufacturing and workplace control as a prism into the onset of the socioeconomic cataclysm by the end of the 1920s known as the Great Depression. Stocked with oral histories with workers, managers, and working-class families, as well as archival film footage, it analyzes the ways in which the automobile, as a product of labor and a catalyst for deep transformations in American society, dominated American life and dictated its economic fortunes. Cars offered far greater access to travel and cultural experiences, especially for women and rural residents, than ever before. Auto work also attracted migrants from across the country, as well as from Mexico, to manufacturing centers in Detroit and the industrial North. Crucially, “A Job at Ford’s” illustrates the repressive labor-relations system that governed not only the workplace environment of auto workers, but also the daily lives of their families in order to ensure compliance with Henry Ford’s desires for social control. Additionally, the film devotes ample time to Ford’s anti-Semitic, racist beliefs, to the worsening conditions of the Depressions, the struggles of everyday people to survive largely without the direct help of the federal government, and the community-based efforts of political radicals and neighborhood groups to respond to the crises. Culminating with the Ford Hunger March in which Ford security guards killed four marchers and wounded over sixty others, the film conveys violence as not only a real threat to organizing at this time, but also a thread through, and force mitigating, working-class daily life in the early twentieth century.

 

Arsenal of Democracy: PBS Great Depression Series (1993)

PBS Great Depression Series, #7

Producer: WGBH, Boston

Narrator: Joe Morton

53 minutes

The seventh and final installment in the PBS Great Depression series, this film links the onset of World War II and the role of the United States as the primary producer of war materiel with the lingering struggles of the Great Depression. Blending oral history with photos from Dorothea Lange and others, archival films, and audio clips, “Arsenal of Democracy” details the persistent plight of the poor throughout the 1930s, especially for migrant workers, farmers, and the homeless who, despite the historical attention they received, often remained outside the public and political scope at that time. It also explores the social, cultural, and economic changes that the transition from peace to war wrought, such as the racism and discrimination that African Americans and Asians experienced during the 1930s and in hiring and job opportunities; the internment of Japanese Americans after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; the use of racist imagery in wartime propaganda; greater employment opportunities for women and African Americans in wartime production; California’s incredible growth due to massive outlays of federal spending; and the end of the Great Depression.

 

 

 
 
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