Category Archives: Outsourcing

Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center

Directors: Steven Fischler, Joel Sucher
Writer: Joel Sucher
60 Minutes

This captivating documentary braids past and present, tracing the technological and financial changes in the US garment industry. Rich in ethnic and labor history, Dressing America illustrates the impact of corporate competition, outsourcing, and deunionization on an industry where small and family shops were once prevalent.


Tears in the Fabric

A Documentary Film and Resource Website by Rainbow Collective and Openvizor. In Savar, Bangladesh, Razia struggles to raise two grandchildren after losing her daughters in the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a disaster which claimed the lives of over 1000 garment workers. One year on, Tears in the Fabric follows Razia as, amidst the struggle of raising and educating her grandsons, she searches for resolution and answers through protest on the streets of Dhaka and amongst the rubble and torn fabrics of Rana Plaza. Tears in the Fabric offers a starkly honest and deeply moving view of the human cost of high street fashion.

Directed by: The Rainbow Collective, UK!tears-in-the-fabric/c1zdc



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Inequality For All (2013)

Jacob Kornbluth, 2013, 89 min
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich looks to raise awareness of the country’s widening economic gap.


We Didn’t Want It to Happen This Way (1978)

30m; U.S.

Director: George Lindblade

Synopsis:  Shot on film in 1978, this project was commissioned by the Zenith Corporation and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. It chronicles the effect of the Sioux City Zenith plant closing on the lives of nine people from seven families. The film crew then traveled to Taiwan and Mexico, where the Sioux City jobs relocated. This was the first wave of US manufacturing jobs moving to offshore facilities. 1500 people, mostly women, lost their jobs. The film was intended to encourage Congress to pass antidumping laws that would protect American workers. We Didn’t Want it to Happen This Way was the winner of the 1979 American Film Festival Award. –


With These Hands: The Story Of An American Furniture Factory (2009)

80m; U.S.

Director: Matthew Barr

Synopsis: In March 2007, unable to compete with cheaper offshore production, Hooker Furniture Company closed its plant in Martinsville, Virginia, after 83 years in operation. “With These Hands” follows the last load of kiln-dried wood down the assembly line as it is cut, honed, and assembled into fine furniture. Along the way, employees at the factory share their perspectives on work, community, and survival in a country devastated by deindustrialization and outsourcing.

Contact: Matthew Barr Associate Professor Department of Broadcasting and Cinema (336) 334-3887


The Wire, Season 2 (2003)

720m; U.S.

Director: Various

Cast: Chris Bauer, Dominic West, Pablo Schreiber, Wendell Pierce

Synopsis: The second season of The Wire while continuing the narrative about the Barksdale gang expands the story to include a depiction of the decline of organized labor via the story of Frank Sobotka and the fictional  International Brotherhood of Stevedores (based on the ILA).



Shout Youngstown

Synopsis: Documentary on closings of steel plants in Youngstown, OH and the effects on the community.

Contact: View here:


The Corporation (2003)

145m; U.S.

Director: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott

Cast: Mikela J. Mikael, Rob Beckwermert and Christopher Gora

Synopsis (IMDB): Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of “person” typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience. Furthermore, we see the profound threat this psychopath has for our world and our future, but also how the people with courage, intelligence and determination can do to stop it.


Leaving Home (1992)


Synopsis: Deindustrialization and U.S-Mexico trade.


Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (1988)

80m; U.S.

Director: Tony Buba

Synopsis: Tony Buba, a film maker from Braddock, Pennsylvania, tells the story of his hometown’s decline (along with the rest of the steel mill towns along the Monongahela River) while he dreams of making higher budget films. The picture documents, in a lighthearted way, the community anxiety and activism that accompanied the failure of the steel industry around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Sweet Sal the street hustler tries to make it big in Tony’s movies