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Category Archives: Available Online

March of the Bonus Army – Part 2

 

March of the Bonus Army – Part 1

 

Bonus March on Washington, DC: 1932

In 1932, unemployed veterans marched on Washington, DC demanding payment of a bonus due in the future. The “bonus marchers” were routed by the military on orders of President Hoover. The idea of World War I veterans who had come home as heroes being confronted by the army was a national shock and doomed whatever hope Hoover had for reelection.

 

Union Women, Union Power: From the Shopfloor to the Streets 

30 min
Filmmakers: Dina Yarmos and Sandra Jeong-In Lane

Highlighting five rank and file union women from different sectors across Philadelphia, “Union Women Union Power” introduces viewers to recent fights for democracy in Philadelphia workplace. The film was produced to spur intergenerational dialogue and engage younger women in the labor movement.

 

Bread and Roses: The Lawrence Textile Strike

6:17m

The Lawrence Textile Strike was a strike of immigrant workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912 led by the Industrial Workers of the World. Prompted by one mill owner’s decision to lower wages when a new law shortening the workweek went into effect in January, the strike spread rapidly through the town, growing to more than twenty thousand workers at nearly every mill within a week. The strike, which lasted more than two months and which defied the assumptions of conservative trade unions within the American Federation of Labor that immigrant, largely female and ethnically divided workers could not be organized, was successful; within a year, however, the union had largely collapsed and most of the gains achieved by the workers were lost.

 

Century of Women

on garment workers, 1909 strike, Triangle, 15 minutes

 

Dis-Connecting People

(35 mins: 18 Secs)
Watch the film here.

Finnish Company Nokia Corporation set up its largest mobile phone assembling plant in Sriperumbadur Taluk of Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu in 2005. Attracted by the tax concessions offered under Special Economic Zone Act 2005, resource subsidies and an army of cheap labour, Nokia found it profitable to assemble phones in India and sell them globally. In just 5 years the plant produced 500 million phones. It hired over 12,000 workers with majority being young women.

After profiting for 8 years, the company now faces charges of  evading taxes to the Indian Government in thousands of crores. Imminent closure of the factory and loss of employment looms large for thousands of workers.

The film documents the voices of workers that have remained largely muted in the din of tax battle between the corporation and the State. They share there experiences of working in Nokia; the happy times of being ‘connected’; of building dreams of becoming ‘middle class’; their fears, anxiety and anger of being ‘dis-connected’ suddenly by the company that they helped ‘profit’ with their hard work; and their resolve to fight for their employment.

For more information contact: Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam at nokianits@gmail.com

 

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
More details here (updated 4/20/2020)

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.