Category Archives: Entertainment Industry

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

90m; U.S.

Director: Preston Sturges

Cast: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake and Robert Warwick

Synopsis (IMDB): Sullivan is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films, with a heart-o-gold, who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor. Much to the chagrin of his producers, he sets off in tramp’s clothing with a single dime in his pocket to experience poverty first-hand, and gets some reality shock.


Swimming With Sharks (1994)

101m; U.S.

Director: George Huang

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley and Michelle Forbes

Synopsis: A young Hollywood executive becomes the assistant to a big time movie producer who is the worst boss imaginable: abusive, abrasive and cruel. But soon things turn around when the young executive kidnaps his boss and visits all the cruelties back on him.


Le Franc (1994)

44m; France

Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty

Cast: Dieye Ma DieyeAminata Fall and Demba Bâ

Synopsis (IMDB): A penniless, fast-thinking musician buys a lottery ticket which he glues to his back door, in hopes of eventually retrieving his instrument from his exasperating landlady. The ticket wins, and our hero begins a harrowing odyssey throughout his shanty town, carrying the door on his shoulder all the time


Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005)


Director: David Redmon

Synopsis (IMDB): This examination of cultural and economic globalization follows the life-cycle of Mardi Gras beads from a small factory in Fuzhou, China, to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and to art galleries in New York City.


Never Turning Back: The World of Peggy Lipschutz (2007)

30m; U.S.

Director: Jerri Zbiral

Synopsis: Celebrates the life and work of 90 year old artist and activist Peggy Lipschutz, who pioneered the “chalk-talk”— a performance art form combining drawing and music before a live audience. This film explores Peggy’s unwavering commitment to art, peace, justice and social change.



One of the Hollywood Ten (2000)

109m; Spain

Director: Karl Francis

Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Greta Scacchi and Ángela Molina

Synopsis (Wikipedia): The film opens at the 1937 Academy Awards, where Biberman’s wife, Gale Sondergaard (Greta Scacchi), wins the first ever “Best Supporting Actress” Oscar. Although the anti-Fascist sentiment in her acceptance speech gets her labeled a “commie” by some observers, she and Biberman (Jeff Goldblum) are placed under contract at Warner Bros. He first comes under scrutiny more for his Jewish background than his political activities. Yet, with Cold War paranoia growing, a group of Hollywood directors and actors — Biberman, Sondergaard, Danny Kaye, and Dalton Trumbo among them—are labeled Communists and questioned before Congress. After refusing to testify against his colleagues, he is imprisoned in the Federal Correctional Institution at Texarkana for a period of six months. Once released, he discovers his Hollywood career is finished.

Sondergaard suggests her husband direct a screenplay about the real-life 1950-51 strike waged by Mexican-American miners against the Empire Zinc Company in Bayard, New Mexico written by Michael Wilson, also a victim of the blacklist, and Biberman’s brother Michael. She feels the lead role of Esperanza Quintero, who rallied the wives of the unemployed miners and urged them to support their husbands, is an ideal way to jump-start her stagnating career. Biberman agrees, but after meeting with the people who participated in the strike and being inspired by their passion, he decides all roles should be played by ethnic actors. Because the film has no studio backing and most Hollywood players fear being associated with Biberman and the project, he eventually casts local residents from Grant County, New Mexico and members of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, Local 890 to fill most of the roles. Juan Chacón, the Union Local president, is cast as the fiery Ramon Quintero opposite Mexican actress Rosaura Revueltas as his wife Esperanza. Will Geer is one of only five Hollywood actors to accept a role in the production.

The FBI investigates the film’s financing, attempts to steal the film’s negatives, tells film-processing labs not to work on the film when they are unable to locate them, incites locals who are unhappy with the film crew’s presence to set fire to many of the sets, and eventually deports Revueltas on bogus charges. Biberman stands his ground and completes the film, using scenes with Revueltas that were shot in her native Mexico and then smuggled into the US.

Contact: Director Karl Francis: Jeff Goldblum’s agent: Keith Addi,


Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007)

93m; U.S.

Director: Jim Brown

Synopsis: This engaging documentary traces the life of folk icon Pete Seeger, emphasizing his lifelong belief in the power of music as both a social and a political force. Director Brown utilizes contemporary footage of Seeger and his wife,Toshi, along with newly remastered recordings of Seeger¹s songs, and interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and others. – Rochester Labor Film Series


Pleasure For The People

90m; France

Director: Jean-Pierre Thorn

Synopsis: Tells the story through hip-hop and music of the immigrant Morrocan and African youth in France and the racism that they face.


Who Needs Sleep? (2006)


Director: Haskell Wexler

Synopsis: “Ahhh… the glamorous life in Hollywood. Or is it? Film crews routinely work sweatshop hours, often clocking 15 to 18 hour days at the expense of their families, their health, their well-being, and even their lives.

In 1997, after a 19-hour day on the set, assistant cameraman Brent Hershman fell asleep behind the wheel, crashed his car, and died. Deeply disturbed by Hershman’s preventable death, filmmaker and multiple-Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler shows how sleep deprivation and long work hours are a lethal combination. Who Needs Sleep? is a commentary on our quality of life.”


La Belle Equipe (1936)

101m; France

Director: Julien Duvivier

Synopsis: Five unemployed workers unsuccessfully attempt to pool resources to get a music hall running.