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Category Archives: Documentary

Solidarity

Solidarity-FILM-2019

Film about the construction industry blacklist in the UK.

Directed by Lucy Parker
2019; 75 mins

SOLIDARITY is about the secretive methods used against UK activists and trade unionists. Blacklisted construction workers and activists spied on by the police share their ongoing struggles.

Blacklisting in the UK construction industry impacted thousands of workers who were labelled ‘troublemakers’ for speaking out and secretively denied employment. Activists uncovered alarming links between workplace blacklisting and undercover policing.  SOLIDARITY attentively follows meetings between activists and law students, brought together for the film, revealing the determination of a community working together to find a route to justice.

The first feature length film from artist filmmaker Lucy Parker, Solidarity has been made alongside and features members of Blacklist Support Group, core participants in Undercover Policing Inquiry, and members of other campaigning groups including  Voice of Domestic Workers, Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union, Independent Workers of Great Britain, GMB, RMT, Unite British Airways Mixed Fleet, County Durham Teaching Assistants, BECTU Picturehouse and many individual trade unionists.

Funded by Arts Council England, Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust, Lipman Miliband Trust, Kingston University and donations from trade union branches and individuals.

Info and a trailer here: https://vimeo.com/331182945

WEBSITE
CONTACT INFO
City Projects
46 Brookbys’s Walk, London, E9 6DA
0781 306 2595

www.cityprojects.org

Email: info@cityprojects.org
Twitter: @solidarity_film

 

Made in Bangladesh

2019 ‧ Drama ‧ 1h 30m

Made in Bangladesh is a 2019 Bangladeshi drama film directed by Rubaiyat Hossain. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Initial release: September 6, 2019
Director: Rubaiyat Hossain
Language: Bengali language

‘Made in Bangladesh’: Film Review | TIFF 2019

Notes by Steve Cook, President, Washington Baltimore News Guild; cookstevend@gmail.com
Tells the story of a garment worker who decides to organize her coworkers into a union after a fire kills her best friend. The young woman, Shimu, has to overcome skepticism from her coworkers, resistance from her husband, double-crossing from a coworker, pressure from her bosses, bureaucratic inertia from the government, and a host of obstacles like we all face.
I want everyone in my shop and other open shops to see this movie. It really lays out what we all face in organizing, but the stakes are clear as day in a way that it often is difficult to communicate to our units. It would be great if it were available in DVDs, so locals could show it, or people could share it in their homes, or pass it around.
The film also highlights the universal struggles unions face anywhere in the world. The things I described above are things we face in our own organizing efforts. I also took away a message of solidarity with working people regardless of their nationality, geographic location, gender, or ethnicity. Their struggle is our struggle. These are messages that people must hear again and again. Cameron Bailey, the TIFF artistic director called Shimu, “the Norma Rae we need now.”
This movie has distribution in France starting Dec. 5 though an outfit called Pyramide International, which TIFF lists as the international sale agent. As far as I know, no one has picked it up in North America. I think it would be ideal for the DC Labor Filmfest, but also would be great if it could get exposure in North America in the meantime. If you have connections in the distribution industry, perhaps you could spread awareness of the movie among them.
The contact information for Pyramide in the TIFF book are sales@pyramidefilms.com, and 0033142960220.
I also am including some links that give you a fuller idea of what Made in Bangladesh is about. I hope I’ve given enough description of how important I think this movie is. Please feel free to contact me for a fuller description or for any way that I may be able to help.
Steve Cook, President, Washington Baltimore News Guild; cookstevend@gmail.com

https://www.tiff.net/events/made-in-bangladesh

Q&A following the TIFF screening.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPNS4XEoZRU

Pyramide International
http://inter.pyramidefilms.com/pyramidefilms-international-catalogue/made-in-bangladesh.html

 

Labor Wars of the Northwest

2019; Directed by David Jepsen; djjepsen@comcast.net

Three decades of labor strife in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century.events_general_laborwars_22_169_2400x1350-1280x720

This one-hour documentary reveals the plight of working class men and women who battled for better wages, reasonable hours, and workplace safety.

 

Our Time Has Come: The Story of the 9 to 5 Movement

In production
Directed by Julia Reichert

Documents the rise of the movement for recognition and fair wages/benefits for women clerical and service workers.

 

ABC da Greve (The “ABC” of the Strike)

A film by Brazilian director Leon Hirszman called ABC da Greve [The “ABC” of the Strike, a pun on São Paulo’s ABC region, where the strike began], about the Brazilian metalworkers strike of 1979.

Lula, The Rhetoric of the Image, Past and Present

 

Brothers under the skin (1989)

Based on the book: The Hilo Massacre by William Puette.
Originally aired on KHET, Channel 11 (Honolulu) on Aug. 24, 1989.
Credits: Senior producer, Chris Conybeare ; writer, Tremaine Tamayose ; directors, Joy Chong, Tremaine Tamayose.
Description: 1 videocassette (60 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.
Details: VHS.

Dramatization of events surrounding the Aug. 1, 1938 “Hilo Massacre,” when a group of 51 longshoremen on strike against a steamship company were fired upon by police.

Stevedores — Labor unions — Hawaii — Hilo — History — 20th century — Drama.
Labor disputes — Hawaii — Drama.
Massacres — Hawaii — Hilo — History — 20th century — Drama.

 

163 DAYS (163 DÍAS. LA HUELGA DE BANDAS)

Larraitz Zuazo
Spain | 2017 | Documentary | 68 minutes
In 1966, 800 workers from the Biscayan company ‘Laminación de Bandas en Frio’ carried out the longest strike of Franco’s dictatorship. In a tumultuous historic moment within the framework of growing organisation of the working class and anti­Franco sentiments, hundreds of residents of Etxebarri, Basauri and Otxarkoaga launched a political struggle that would end up being an example for the entire labor movement that would follow. Through the main characters and their stories, anecdotes and experiences, we create an image of the 163 days of strike that made the dictatorship’s foundations shake.

 

A Feeling Greater Than Love

Mary Jirmanus Saba
Lebanon | 2017 | Documentary | 93 minutes

Dreams of popular revolution, erased by civil war. A young girl martyred at a factory strike in Beirut in 1972 – her identity shrouded in mystery.  A meditation on revolution, cinema and their possibilities, past and present.

In her directorial debut, Mary Jirmanus Saba deals with a forgotten revolution, saving from oblivion bloodily suppressed strikes at Lebanese tobacco and chocolate factories. These events from the 1970s, which held the promise of a popular revolution and, with it, of women’s emancipation were erased from collective memory by the country’s civil wars. Rich in archival footage from Lebanon’s militant cinema tradition, the film reconstructs the spirit of that revolt, asking of the past how we might transform the present.

 

Good Luck

Ben Russell 
France, Germany / 2017/143 min

Ben Russell’s third feature is an apparent simplicity that is only matched by its power of evocation. Divided into two distinct parts (and an epilogue), this conceptual ethnographic film takes us to the heart of two sites of intense manual work poles apart from each other. The first is a Serbian underground copper mine. The second is an open-pit gold mine in Suriname. Sublimely shot in super 16mm, in black and white and color, Good Luck is openly a study of contrasts that encourages us to reflect on the differences – and the similarities – between the anxious atmosphere of the state mine and the sinking sun of the semi-legal career. Constantly emphasizing the individuality and mutual aid of the workers, Good Luck is also, and above all, a great gesture of humanist solidarity. (BD)

Ben Russell’s third feature is as powerful as it is apparently simple. Presented in two distinct parts plus an epilogue, this conceptual ethnographic film transports us to two intense and very different manual labor sites. The first is an underground copper mine in Serbia, the second year open-pit gold mine in Suriname. Beautifully shot in 16mm, in both color and black and white, Good Luck is a study in contrasts that encourages us to think about the differences and similarities between the tense atmosphere of the state-run mine and the brutal sun beating down on the semi- legal quarry. Always highlighting the workers’ individuality and solidarity, Good Luck is also a work of deep humanist solidarity.

Review (NYT): In ‘Good Luck,’ Miners in Serbia and Suriname Share a Cinematic Link

 

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

(2013, 83mins, dir. Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran)

A boat has many powers: to gather a society in its making, to distribute goods, to carry people and ideas across places that seem more different than ever before. This auto-ethnographic travelogue was produced through four years of dialogue, friendship and exchange between the Mumbai-based studio CAMP and sailors from Kutch, Sindh, Baluchistan and Southern Iran, working in the wharfs of Sharjah and Dubai. Captured with cell phone cameras and set to a soundtrack of Bollywood, Pakistani and religious songs chosen by the sailors, the film sails from Gujarat to the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden to the Somali coast and back again, alongside cargoes ranging from medical equipment to live goats.