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Category Archives: Automation

Time Thieves

2018 ‧ Documentary ‧ 1h 25m

A look at the puzzle of “time poverty,” which equates to the more people try to save time, the less they seem to have of it.

Initial release: 2018
Director: Cosima Dannoritzer
Screenplay: Cosima Dannoritzer
Producers: Christian Popp, Carles Brugueras, Marieke van den Bersselaar

livia@icarusfilms.com 718-488-8900

 

Idiocracy (2006)

Director: Mike Judge
Writers: Mike Judge (story), Mike Judge (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Luke WilsonMaya RudolphDax Shepard

Private Joe Bauers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive.

 

Complicit

Complicit is about migrant workers in China. Journey of Chinese factory migrant worker-turned-activist Yi Yeting, who takes his fight against the global electronic industry from his hospital bed to the international stage. While battling his own work-induced leukemia, Yi Yeting teaches himself labour law and joins the struggle to defend the lives of teenage workers poisoned by toxic working conditions in the making of smartphones.

But defending the lives of millions of Chinese workers from becoming terminally ill due to working conditions necessitates confrontation with some of the world’s largest brands including Apple and Samsung….

Heather White, Producer/Co-Director
heatherhsw@gmail.com

“A Harrowing, Powerful Look at the Real Price of Our Devices”

REVIEWS:
POV: “As one gazes into the screen and taps one’s thumbs on the keyboard icons, one grasps one’s involvement and complicity in a major human rights issue. Even reviewing the film, staring at a screen on a laptop, feels uncomfortably inappropriate and ironic after viewing this compelling documentary.”
http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/review-complicit

The Reel Word: “Complicit is a harrowing and powerful documentary that may be set in fast developing China, but it raises an ethical question that we should all consider: From the smartphones we swipe to the Fitbits we wear, what really happens along the supply chain? Directors Heather White and Lynn Zhang make audiences face the uncomfortable truth that there is a devastating human cost to the conveniences we enjoy on a daily basis.”

THE REEL SCORE: 10/10
https://www.thereelword.net/complicit-documentary-review-china-2017/0/

Film Doo: “COMPLICIT is a shattering comment on inequality and the forces that work to maintain the unjust status-quo.”
https://www.filmdoo.com/blog/2017/03/08/review-complicit-2017/

Faze: “Complicit, A Shocking Film On Global Outsourcing Featured At Human Rights Watch Film Festival”
http://faze.ca/movie-review-complicit-global-outsourcing/

Toronto Globe and Mail: “In this year’s festival, the most complex film to assess was Complicit, a doc about Chinese activists struggling to help factory workers poisoned by the chemicals used to make cellphones and computers. In that instance, Human Rights Watch had to call on the expertise of three different departments: its China division; the health division; and the business division.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/human-rights-watch-film-festival-critically-curates-documentaries/article34400377/

The Platform: “Complicit…forces one to ponder how much a life is truly worth in our profit obsessed world.”
http://www.the-platform.org.uk/2017/03/25/film-nights-for-human-rights-complicit/

PressReader: “Complicit reveals the human costs of global outsourcing while highlighting the choices made by a group of inspired activists seeking change.”
https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-metro-ontario-edition/20170324/282535838196685

In The Seats: “Complicit is pointed exploration into the various levels of corporate and governmental corruption impacting China’s manufacturing industry. Aiming to inspire consumers to stand up and demand better from corporations, Complicit is a film worth putting our electronics down for.

http://intheseats.ca/human-rights-watch-festival-2017-review-complicit/
The Georgia Straight: “Complicit reveals the inhumane ways in which hopeful, hardworking citizens are exposed to toxic chemicals on the job and the shady attempts by multi-billion-dollar corporations to shed all responsibility. The result is equal parts devastating, gut-wrenching, and infuriating—a necessary call for westerners to re-evaluate their relationship with capitalism and its astronomical cost.

 

Robot Somnambulism (2016)

Richard HSIAO
2016 / Taiwan / Documentary / 90min /
Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics OEM factory, manufactured and assembled more than 50% iPhone of the world. In 2010, the serial jumping of Foxconn workers caught attention. People holding iPhone suddenly noticed that it’s producer were working like a robot, acting every 7 seconds, 12 hour a day. They felt a bit uneasy, but cannot loosen their hand. Smartphone has changed human life completely. On the other side, the company supplying touch panels to HTC were suppressing worker union. Union and supporting students choose HTC to protest, making its managers feel embarrassed and aggrieved. Meanwhile, one of HTC engineer died possibly because of overworking. His last message on Facebook was “off work, issue still not resolved”, AM 3 o’clock, Sunday. In this era, robotic people making humanized machine, is it a hopeless tragedy, or the beginning of a brave new world?

 

Machines (2016)

India, Germany, Finland (Director: Rahul Jain) — This intimate, observant portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship.

Daunting descent to the underworld of a textile factory in Gujarat, in North-western India, where the cheap clothes for the first world are made. This factory represents many more from Western India, where the scenary and the conditions are like the ones we see here. Claustrophobic, hermetic, unhealthy, dark spaces, with the air saturated of toxic smoke emanated from dye chemicals. Tied to looms, sleepy teenagers, youths and mature men work twelve hours a day for starvation wages: many of them go into debt in order to pay the train ticket to travel from rural areas to the urban factories. The brutal working conditions dehumanize the workers, to the point of turning them into appendixes of machines. Landless peasants join the files of workers without rights nor holydays. Few well selected interviews to workers convey what happens here: employers oppression without any constraint from the State, lack of trade-union reply due to the killing of their leaders, no viable alternative to survive out of the factory.

Relevance: With an excellent cinematography (it gained the Price of the best documentary photography in Sundance), the film transfers a feeling of anguish without loosing artistic dignity. We roam labyrinthic corridors and stagnant rooms, and we absorb the rhythm of production through the monotonous noises from the machines. This great debut of Rahul Jain give voice and faces to some of the more sorely afflicted slaves in the twenty-first century.
Note courtesy Docs and the World

 

Joy of Man’s Desiring (Que ta joie demeure) (2014)

1h 10min | Documentary, News | 16 January 2015 (USA)

An open-ended exploration of the energies and rituals of various workplaces. From one worker to another and one machine to the next; hands, faces, breaks, toil: what kind of absurdist, abstract dialogue can be started between human beings and their need to work? What is the value of the time we spend multiplying and repeating the same motions that ultimately lead to a rest – a state of repose whose quality defies definition.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/jIaWeSRqNAg

 

Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream (2015)

http://matzofilm.com/
65 min  |  Documentary, Family, History  |  12 April 2015 (USA)
Director/writer: Michael Levine

On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in a series of four nondescript brick tenement buildings, sits the Streit’s Matzo factory. In 1925, when Aron Streit opened the factory’s doors, it sat at the heart of the nations largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, in a rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, it remains as the last family owned matzo factory in America.
(note: the factory closed in April 2015; workers will have to commute to New Jersey)