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Category Archives: Transportation

The Great Strike 1917

Trailer
70 minutes.

Documentary about events which shaped Australian society and the labor movement for a century and beyond.

Synopsis
Thousands had stopped work, the government recruited volunteers to break the strike, allowing them to bear arms; unions were deregistered and union leaders charged with conspiracy. It was a time of violent emotions, state violence and individual acts of violence by and against strikers. A striker was shot and killed. A filmmaker had his film embargoed. It was Sydney, 1917.

The world was in the grip of “The Great War”. Rail and tram employees had been forced to work longer hours, with reduced wages and conditions. With the introduction of a new American ‘timecard’ system, tramway and railway workers in inner Sydney walked off the job in protest, triggering the strike.

The stoppage became the biggest industrial upheaval Australia has seen before or since. At its height the strike stopped coastal shipping, mining, stevedoring and transport, and involved tens of thousands of workers in Australia’s eastern states.

Despite being a crushing defeat at the time, it had lasting consequences for the Australian labor movement. It was 100 years ago, but personal stories rarely spoken about were to filter through, reflecting on both the trauma and the positive legacy of the event, which still strongly resonate today.

WEBSITE

Mandy King
cavadini@tpg.com.au
M: 0410 633 503

 

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 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.

 

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.

 

The Last Rites

(2008, 17mins, dir. Yasmine Kabir)
A haunting wordless depiction of the ship-breaking yards of Chittagong, Bangladesh. “With her images, one feels the impossible weight of the ropes, as shoeless feet are submerged ankle deep in toxic petroleum; the palpable hunger driving bodies of skin and bone to repeat arduous physical feats that would make a strong man groan.” [Alisa Lebow]

They’re called the ship-breaking yards: the graveyards of ocean-going vessels near Chittagong in Bangladesh. In the foreground, fishermen wade through low water with nets in hand; in the background, we see the gigantic ships on their sides, waiting for the day they’ll be taken apart.
The Last Rites is a short, silent account in which director Yasmine Kabir is more in search of the poetry of the images than an all-encompassing record of the events. She juxtaposes the insignificance of the men against the towering sides of the ships. The fire of the welding machine is the only warmth in the dark backgrounds of cold steel. This is where the ships come to die. Not all at once with a bang, but slowly, only as fast as the men can dismantle them. After all, the ships aren’t taken apart with big cranes, but rather by the welders, piece by piece. One sheet of metal at a time, until nothing’s left, and then more ships arrive for dismantling. The Last Rites is Kabir’s third documentary at IDFA. After her first in 2000, My Migrant Soul, her second film was screened in 2003: A Certain Liberation, a heartbreaking story about a woman who walked the streets of the town of Kopilmoni like a crazy person after her family was murdered.

 

From Cable Street to Brick Lane (2012)

A non-linear tribute to successive generations of immigrants and trade unionists in London’s East End, and their triumph over prejudice and intolerance.

Archive footage brings to life the 1936 Battle of Cable Street when Irish dockers ran to the aid of Jews, socialists, anarchists and communists whose protest against a march by the British Union of Fascists provoked an attack by the police. Interviewees – including artist Bob & Roberta Smith and writer Rachel Lichtenstein – recall the subsequent struggles of anti-fascists against racial and homophobic violence in the 1970s and 1990s, depicting a vibrant but disparate community united against hate.

 

Unsung Hero: The Jack Jones Story

Documentary film on former Transport & General Union (UK) General Secretary Jack Jones, a man who exercised more power over government economic policy than any other trades union leader in British history.

Jones took on four of the great evils of modern times: poverty, fascism, worker exploitation and pensioner poverty – and took them on with so much conviction that at one point, the public voted him the most powerful man in Britain.

The life of Jack Jones mirrors the story of the 20th century – a man whose like we may never see again.

Roy Boulter, Hurricane Films, roy@hurricanefilms.co.uk

 

 

Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and co-produced by Steve Zeitlin of CityLore and Erie Canal Museum Curator Daniel Ward, the film tells the story of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal and examines its impact on the lives of workers in steel, grain, textiles and shipping. Wagner’s credits include The Stone Carvers and Windhorse. A meditation on economic cycles and the American Dream. The film surveys the macro-economics of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal, and examines its impact on the lives of workers in steel, grain, textiles and shipping. In the wake of economic collapse, can the people of America’s cities find meaning and worth?

Paul Wagner, Charlottesville, VA:  pw@paulwagnerfilms.com

 

Open Eyes (2013)

Filmmaker: Martin Aletta

Argentina/Japan | 2013 | Fiction | 15 minutes

Tokyo. Ryo goes to his job at the railway company where he’s task is remove the remains of the railroad due to the numerous suicides. Saki, a young girl, wanders around her city contemplating an apathetic society. Her walk drives her to the platform of station where Ryo finds her…

2015 Brazilian International Labour Film Festival

 

Labour in a Single Shot

http://www.labour-in-a-single-shot.net

Starting in 2011 artist, curator, and author Antje Ehmann and filmmaker, video artist and author Harun Farocki initiated video production workshops in 15 cities around the world in which participants were to engage with the subject of ‘labour’: paid and unpaid, material and immaterial, traditional or new. The videos could not be longer than two minutes and they had to be taken in a single shot. The camera could be static, panning or travelling but cuts were not allowed. This concept references the Brother Lumière’s famous film Workers Leaving the Factory which was filmed in one continuous take from a fixed camera position.

The result of these workshops, which were organised together with local branches of the Goethe-Institut, are 400 films which show people engaged in all kinds of work, each film taking a different stance, literally and figuratively, towards its subject while also recording the diverse mental attitudes and bodily relation people have to their work.

Facing the challenge of filming something that might be essentially repetitive, continuous and boring, the films also foreground the work of the camera operator and his or her aesthetic decisions. In the multitude and diversity the films form a visual compendium and an archive of labour and cinema in the 21st century that is never boring or repetitive but enhances and simultaneously questions our perception and understanding of work.

All the films can be watched on a dedicated website, at random, or sorted by city, colour or type of work. A selection of 90 films was shown as an installation at the House of World Culture in Berlin from 27 February to 6 April 2015 with an accompanying conference. This exhibition also presented the project ‘Workers Leaving the Factory in 15 Cities’ (2011 – 2014), consisting of contemporary remakes of the famous film by the Lumière Brothers which were shot in 15 cities all over the world. Also included in the exhibition was the installation ‘Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades’ (2006), which showed scenes of workers leaving the factory throughout the history of cinema, from the Lumière Brothers (1895) to Lars van Trier’s Dancer in the Dark (2000).

‘Labour in a Single Shot’ is a co-production of the Harun Farocki Filmproduktion with the Goethe-Institut.

www.harunfarocki.de