Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes
To this day, the Great Strike of 1917 is still Australia’s largest industrial upheaval. The story of the Strike has long been dormant in archives, and is now re-told with original film footage from the era.
Sydney, 1917: thousands had joined protest marches through the streets, the government recruited volunteers to break the strike, issuing some of them with guns; unions were deregistered and union leaders charged with conspiracy. It was a time of violent emotions, state violence and individual acts of violence by and against strikers. A striker, Mervyn Flanagan, was shot and killed.
With the introduction of a new ‘timecard’ system, known as Scientific Management or Taylorism, originating from the United States, transport workers stopped work, triggering the strike.
The documentary examines the industrial, social and political context of a struggle that had lasting consequences for the labour movement in Australia. Personal stories and legacies filtered through generations of families for years to come, reflecting on the fight for decent conditions and fair treatment in the workplace, which still strongly resonate today.
Professor Lucy Taksa, Centre for Workforce Futures, Macquarie University
Sally McManus, Secretary, ACTU
Frances Morgan, Writer, The Folded Lie
John Graham, Labor MLC, NSW Parliament
Laila Ellmoos, Historian, City of Sydney Council
Simon Drake, National Film & Sound Archive
OFFICIAL SELECTION! Antenna Documentary Film Festival
FINALIST! ATOM AWARDS, Documentary (History)
Writer, Director, Editor Amanda King
Producers Amanda King, Fabio Cavadini
Director of Photography Fabio Cavadini
Graphic Designer Miriana Marusic
Sound Designer Anthony Marsh
Production Company Frontyard Films