Category Archives: Automation

Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

(Regan Brashear, 2013, 60 min) A closer look at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that may take us there.


Ford and Taylor Scientific Management


Hombre Maquila (2011) (Machine Man)

Director: Alfonso Moral & Roser Corella
Spain, 2011, 14min
Format: HDCam (screening) – DigiBeta, BetaSP (shooting)
Festival Year: 2012
Category: Documentary
Crew: Editor, Cinematographer: Alfonso Moral

A reflection on modernity and global development, documenting the use of human physical force to perform work in the 21st century. The film takes place in the capital of Bangladesh, where the ‘machine men’ execute different physical works, a mass of millions of people who become the driving force behind the city.

Alfonso Moral and Roser Corella have collaborated on a number of documentaries, shooting in Lebanon, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Kenya and Senegal. They combine this joint work with individual work, making photo and video reports for different media, television and press, including Catalan TV, La Vanguardia or Le Monde. “Machine Man” is their first auteur documentary.



7m; Turkey

Director: Nazli Bayram 

Synopsis: The short is about the increasing speed up of workers who are tied to machine production speeds. The murderous pace puts these workers in a nightmare situation where they lose their limbs, hands and their bodies are destroyed by increasing exploitation on the job

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Automation, Documentary


Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Labor Struggle in the Post Office (1980)

By Tami Gold, Dan Gordon, Erik Lewis
1980, 45 minutes, Color and B&W, Video

On July 21, 1978 thousands of postal workers across the country walked off their jobs when their contract expired, saying “No” to mandatory overtime, forced speedups and hazardous working conditions. As a result of this wildcat strike, six hundred thousand postal workers won a better contract. But two hundred workers were arbitrarily fired by management to teach all postal workers a lesson.

SIGNED, SEALED and DELIVERED… is the story of the struggle these postal workers waged to win back their jobs. It follows their fight into the streets, onto the floor of the American Postal Workers Union’s National Convention and among workers and communities nationwide. But it took the tragic death of Michael McDermott, a 25 year old mailhandler who was sucked into a conveyor belt and crushed to death, to bring their hazardous working conditions to national attention.

SIGNED, SEALED and DELIVERED… speaks loudly and clearly to people everywhere who are organizing for safe and humane conditions in the workplace.


The Sleep Dealer (2008)

90m; Mexico

Director: Alex Rivera

Cast: Luis Fernando Peña, Leonor Varela and Jacob Vargas

Synopsis: Mexican man from the provinces whose family and home are destroyed by terrorist-seeking drones goes to Tijuana, where he joins a workforce of illegal workers whose labor is transported electronically across the border.

Contact: Alex Rivera 611 Broadway, #836 NY NY 10012


Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers (2003)

54m; Sweden

Director: Erik Gandini & Johan Söderberg

Synopsis (Wikipedia): An award winning 2003 Swedish documentary film on consumerism and globalization, created by director Erik Gandini and editor Johan Söderberg. It looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be. The film leans towards anarcho-primitivist ideology and argues for ‘a simple and fulfilling life’.


The Best Typist in the World (El Mejor Mecanógrafo del Mundo) (2005)

Director: Rafa Piqueras

Since he was a child, Ernesto Casanova always knew that he would be the best typist in the World. We’re in the 70’s, he’s 35 years old and he works for a lawyer’s office as a typist. He’s secretly in love with the office’s secretary. Life flows in a pleasent routine, but one day, Mr. Robledo, the boss, decides to introduce the technologic renovation in the office and he buy a new computer. Casanova thinks that this is the end.


Project XX: The Innocent Years (1957)

53m; U.S.

Director: Donald Hyatt

Synopsis: A record of America changing from a rural to an industrialized society. Highlighting major events in national life through 1917.


Remember Owens-Illinois 1921-2007 (Time Goes By, 57th St. & Mac Corkle Ave. North, 1921-2007)

2007 35 mins. Joe Hodges

A second glass plant existed right across the street from LOF on MacCorkle Ave. SE in the Kanawha City section of Charleston. This plant became the largest producer of glass bottles in the world by the 1930s. In 1917, just one year after the LOF plant was founded, the Owens-Illinois Company began manufacturing fruit jars, jars for industrial products, and after Prohibition ended, beer bottles. This film tells the story of WV native son Michael Joseph Owens, the inventor of the bottle-making machine that revolutionized the glass industry worldwide. Photos of workers are shown, and videotape-showing reunions are included. The plant closed in 1963. Many workers at this plant would walk across the street and work at the LOF plant when things were slow.

Access: Joseph D. Hodges, 5426 Lancaster Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25304, 925-1819, or David Radford, 2950 Pine St., Belle, WV, 595-1090. The WV State Archives has copies of both films LOF and OI films, made available to reseachers. Copies of both LOF and OI glass factory films should be available from WVLC and KCPL in summer 2009.