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Category Archives: Occupation/Type of Work

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

 

Sorry We Missed You

2019 ‧ Drama ‧ 1h 40m

Ricky and his family have been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash. An opportunity to wrestle back some independence appears with a shiny new van and the chance to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver. It’s hard work, and his wife’s job as a carer is no easier. The family unit is strong but when both are pulled in different directions everything comes to breaking point.

Initial release: May 16, 2019 (France)
Director: Ken Loach
Producer: Rebecca O’Brien
Screenplay: Paul Laverty
Nominations: Palme d’Or, Cannes Best Actress Award, MORE
Production companies: Wild Bunch, Why Not Productions, Sixteen Films

Sorry We Missed You review – Ken Loach’s superb swipe at zero-hours Britain

 

The Big Short (2015)

| | BiographyComedyDrama | 23 December 2015 (USA)

In 2006-7 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

Director: Adam McKay 
Writers: Charles Randolph (screenplay by), Adam McKay (screenplay by)
Stars: Christian BaleSteve CarellRyan Gosling

 

 

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

 

They Don’t Wear Black Tie (1981) Eles Não Usam Black-Tie

2h | Drama | 18 April 1982 (USA)

Brazilian drama film directed by Leon Hirszman, based on Gianfrancesco Guarnieri’s play of the same name. Union leader’s son doesn’t want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father’s tradition of political activism. The film revolves around a working-class family in São Paulo in 1980. Otávio, a syndicalist leader, and Romana are the parents of Tião, whose girlfriend, Maria, becomes pregnant. Fearing to be fired and thus unable to support his now fiancée, Tião does not participate on a strike, which starts a series of family conflicts.

Full film here

 

Brothers Under the Skin (1912)

DramaShort | 2 October 1912 (USA)

Jack Adams, spokesman for workmen in a factory, pleads with the owner, Griscom, against a twenty percent cut in wages. Griscom refuses to consider the men’s side, so the men walk out. Jack, seeking work at another factory, is “black-listed.” He leaves in an ugly mood. Unable to find work anywhere, he is reduced to starvation. His wife needs a doctor. Jack sends a note to Griscom pleading to be taken back. Griscom answers, “Glad to see you so humble, but you can’t work for me.” Jack, irate, determines on vengeance. Outside Griscom’s mansion Jack is overcome by weakness. Elsie, Griscom’s favorite child, finds Jack, and has him taken into the house. Griscom comes in, suspects Jack’s intentions, and accuses him. Jack tells of his terrible suffering. Elsie tries to console him. Jack is overcome. Griscom relents and offers food. Jack refuses. Elsie puts her arms around Jack, and he accepts the food. The touching scene penetrates the armor of Griscom’s selfishness, and he offers his hand to Jack, who accepts it.

 

The St. Louis Kid (1934)

Director: Ray Enright
Writers: Warren Duff (screen play), Seton I. Miller (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Stars: James Cagney, Patricia Ellis, Allen Jenkins

Drama directed by Ray Enright and starring James Cagney as a truck driver who gets mixed up in a union dispute after a union leader is killed and his girlfriend is kidnapped after witnessing the crime.

Trucker Eddie Kennedy gets involved with the law when he has an car accident with Ann Reid and knocks the owner of a dairy out. He evades a penalty when he claims, that he had done it as an act of solidarity with the farmers. The farmers start an boycott action against this dairy, so the owner has to bring milk from elsewhere to his dairy, but the farmers closed the road, and Kennedy is arrested once more. He leaves jail at night to meet Ann, but meanwhile the owner has asked some mobsters to deliver the milk. One of the farmers is murdered, Ann Reid is missing and Eddie Kennedy is accused of murder.

 

Great Guy (1936)

1936 crime film starring James Cagney and Mae Clarke. In the film, an honest inspector for the New York Department of Weights and Measures takes on corrupt merchants and politicians.

Directed by John G. Blystone
Written by James Edward Grant (story)
Screenplay by Henry McCarty
Starring James Cagney
Mae Clarke
Release date: December 1936
Running time: 75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Full film here

 

 

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.