When an Italian factory fires its all-female workforce, workers take over the factory for over a year. When one of those workers, Rosa, meets Margherita – who owns another factory – new possibilities are hatched.
Category Archives: Women
PBS Great Depression Series, #1
Producer: WGBH, Boston
Narrator: Joe Morton
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.
PBS Great Depression Series, #7
Producer: WGBH, Boston
Narrator: Joe Morton
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.
Director: Rory B. Quintos
Writers: Ricardo Lee (story), Raymond Lee (story)
Stars: Vilma Santos, Claudine Barretto, Joel Torre
The main character is a Filipina overseas contract worker, one of the many residents of the archipelago who is forced to leave her family and take a higher paying job in a more prosperous Asian country. While she is working her employer refuses to let her take a vacation, nor does he deliver her mail to her. She is unaware, therefore, that her husband has died. When she finally returns to the Philippines she is met with resentment and hatred by her children. The movie studies how she overcomes these feelings and rebuilds the relationship with her family.
Director: Olivia M. Lamasan
Writers: Raymond Lee (story), Raymond Lee (screenplay)
Stars: Claudine Barretto, Piolo Pascual, Ilonah Jean
Trials and tribulations of Filipino workers dreaming of a bright future in a foreign land.
Director: Chito S. Roño
Writers: Jewel C. Castro (story), Chris Martinez (story)
Stars: Sharon Cuneta, John Estrada, Rica Peralejo
Based on real-life stories of Filipino caregivers abroad. Director Roño searched for stories of their lives abroad and personally talked to some who shared their experiences. Roño has friends who work as caregivers; their real-life scenarios were directly depicted in the film. Cuneta stars as Sarah, a mother who left her son in the Philippines and also a teacher who relinquished her profession in lieu of care giving in London, in hopes of augmenting her salary. One of the top-grossing Filipino films of the year.
61 minutes, Color/BW, DVD, English
A film by Michèle Midori Fillion
available from Women Make Movies
When World War II broke out, reporter Martha Gellhorn was so determined to get to the frontlines that she left husband Ernest Hemingway, never to be reunited. Ruth Cowan’s reporting was hampered by a bureau chief who refused to talk to her. Meanwhile, photojournalist Dickey Chappelle wanted to get so close to the action that she could feel bullets whizzing by. This award-winning documentary tells the colorful story of how these three tenacious war correspondents forged their now legendary reputations during the war—when battlefields were considered no place for a woman.
Narrated by Emmy® Award winner Julianna Margulies, this film features an abundance of archival photos and interviews with modern female war correspondents, as well as actresses bringing to life the written words of these remarkable women. Their repeated delegation to the sidelines to cover the “woman’s angle” succeeded in expanding the focus of war coverage to bring home a new kind of story— a personal look at the human cost of war.
Director: Michael Glawogger
Germany/Austria (subtitled in English)
Stories of prostitution around the world. The documentary revolves around the lives and individual hopes, needs and experiences of the women.
Director: Philippe Le Guay
Writers: Philippe Le Guay, Jérôme Tonnerre
Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain and Natalia Verbeke
104 min – Comedy
In 1960s Paris, a conservative couple’s lives are turned upside down by two Spanish maids.
Ma part du gâteau
France: 109 min
After losing her job at a local factory, a single mother enrolls in a housekeeper training program, soon landing work cleaning the Paris apartment of handsome but cocky power broker, who happens to be the same one responsible for the layoffs at her factory.