Category Archives: 2023 Shortlist

Company Town 

When the last factory in a small Rust Belt town closes its doors, an unlikely hero emerges in dutiful, quiet Allery Parkes. A career employee of the factory, the aging Allery, can’t reconcile how to live a life simply sitting at home doing nothing. Against the advice and pleas of his loving wife Lola, he forms an unlikely friendship with his charismatic neighbor Walter, in order to revive the defunct factory. As their community rallies around them – and as their former corporate bosses strategize how to implode this unexpected movement – Allery learns that he might be something he never thought possible: a leader.

Film info: Drama | 109 min | Director: Robert Jury | Country: USA | Language: English | Subtitles: Swedish


Company Town 

It’s a fly-on-the-wall documentary about trade unions, giant corporations, globalization and local communities that depend on big corporations. Specifically, it’s the backroom fight to prevent the closure of Oshawa, Ont.’s General Motors plant in December, 2019 and the loss of 5,000 jobs. The focus is on Unifor, the national union representing the autoworkers, and the complex feelings the workers have about the plant, the union and a path forward. No one is spared in this telling. It also features an appearance by Sting who was performing in Toronto in The Last Ship, his play about the near demise of a shipbuilding town in England, when the GM crisis erupted.

Arbetar Filmfestivalen // Nordic Labour Film Festival 2021


Her Socialist Smile (2020)

John Gianvito assembles Keller’s political addresses and writings into a portrait of a warrior for social justice and a passionate, insightful proselytizer of Marxist thought.



71 mins | 2021

Director: Tomasz Wolski

Producer: Anna Gawlita

Subtitle: English

In the days leading up to Christmas 1970, the Polish government raised the prices of food and consumer goods, prompting worker strikes and public demonstrations. In response, the Communist regime ordered the police and military to intervene and suppress the protests, which resulted in violent clashes, thousands of arrests, and the deaths of over 40 demonstrators. Director Tomasz Wolski brings the tragic sequence of decisions and their ramifications to life in a compelling and stylized pastiche of archival footage, stop-motion animation, puppetry, and recordings of government officials’ conversations. Bold and bracing, the film interweaves multiple visual styles and stories to suspenseful effect as the tension between the public and the government unfolds in black-and-white streets and moody dioramas. With chilling contemporary resonances, 1970 captures the politics of power and intimidation—how both are deployed by authority figures when they are confronted by the forces of civil unrest and a fear of their own citizens. TM


Fair Play

“A Feminist, Neorealist, Communist Film, and a Plain Great Movie”


The Assistant (2020)

Julia Garner is “magnificent” as the personal assistant to a TriBeCa-based film executive whose sexual harassment of hopeful young starlets is an open secret. The name “Weinstein” is never once uttered, and it doesn’t have to be; the writer and director, Kitty Green, uses what we already know to fill in the blanks. We don’t even see the monster in question — he’s just a presence and a voice, in snatches of overheard dialogue and muffled fits of rage, and Green’s beautifully controlled film captures, with brutal, pinpoint accuracy, how that presence infects a workplace, and what happens when someone decides not to play along.

Watch it on Hulu



2018 ‧ Drama/Crime ‧ 2h 1m
Initial release: June 8, 2018 (Japan)
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Japanese: 万引き家族
Awards: Palme d’Or, Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year, MORE
Nominations: Cannes Jury Prize, Cannes Best Director Award,

On the margins of Tokyo, a dysfunctional band of outsiders is united by fierce loyalty and a penchant for petty theft. When the young son is arrested, secrets are exposed that upend their tenuous, below-the-radar existence.


Murder Not Accident

Screener (need password)

2019; video; 30m
Directed by Fatih Pınar, edited by Burcu Kolbay and Fatih Pınar
Co-produced by Bergen Assembly 2019

Contact: Fatih Pınar;
Screened at 2019 labor film festival in Turkey

Murder Not Accident documents the collective struggle against the “work-related serial murders” in Turkey. In 2018, at least 1,872 people died on the job due to preventable causes while working. The annual death toll of occupational diseases is estimated to be at least six times this figure. None of these deaths are registered as work-related and most of the victims of work-related violence remain unnamed. This is a state of emergency – corporate crime and social murder, which remain deliberately ignored by the government and state entities.

In 2008, a group of families mourning for loved ones, victims of work-related murders, came together. They translated their shared grief into a demand for justice. They named their network Workers’ Families Seeking Justice (WFSJ) and gave the victims a name with this struggle:

We are the families of the workers who lost their lives in preventable work-related accidents and occupational diseases, the root reasons of which are duplicated in each new death. That is why we call them “work-related murders”. Those who are responsible for them –highest-ranking executives and officials of corporations and public bodies– were never exposed to a just judicial process and continue to enjoy full impunity. We are mourning together and our claim for justice is to “remember the dead and fight for the living”.

The Support Group, a solidarity network of urban planners, architects, lawyers, and other activists from Bir Umut Derneği (One Hope Association), based in Istanbul, share a common cause with the Workers’ Families. Since May 2012, on the first Sunday of each month, the Families and the Support Group have been holding “the Vigil for Conscience and Justice” on Galatasaray Square in the center of Istanbul. The vigils were held there 74 times and were banned on the 75th occasion. The reasons given for the ban were the precise ones for which the families have fought for so long: “national security, public order, the protection of public health”.

Yet Workers’ Families Seeking Justice hold on to their demand. Concurrently, since 2012, the Support Group has published seven almanacs about the murders, tracing the national press coverage and some local, non-published sources as well as highlighting the families’ demand for memory and justice.


When Tomorrow Comes (1939)

90m; U.S.

Director: John M. Stahl

Cast: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer and Barbara O’Neil

Synopsis: Washington Post columnist and American Prospect editor Harold Meyerson is one of the most incisive political commentators in the United States. Harold has also written about movies and entertainment (He is author of the book “Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz?” about the lyricist Yip Harburg) so I asked him to write about anything he wanted to related to movies and politics. Harold can write authoritatively about almost anything. His fascinating review of the 1930s movie When Tomorrow Comes – a film he calls the “Lefty-est Thirties studio movie you’ve never heard of,” can be found at Hope you enjoy this look back in film history which is an implicit critique of the state of filmmaking today. Kelly Candaele