Category Archives: Safety & Health

The Spirit of ’45 (2013)

directed by Ken LoachSpiritOf45

An impassioned documentary about how the spirit of unity which buoyed Britain during the war years carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society

1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society. The spirit of the age was to be our brothers and our sisters keeper.

Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain’s regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative. The Spirit of 45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.

Distributor: Dogwoof
Patrick Hurley

The Spirit of ’45 – first look review (The Guardian)

The Spirit of ’45: Berlin Review (The Hollywood Reporter)

Ken Loach’s ‘The Spirit Of 45’ An Effective But Conservatively Presented Doc About Radical Social Change (IndieWire)



The Waiting Room (2012)

Directed by Peter Nicks
Unrated, 1 hr. 21 min.

24 hours in a public hospital emergency room waiting room.

The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film – using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voiceover – offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.

The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and small business owners who lack insurance. Steel workers, taxi cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. The film weaves the stories of several patients – as well as the hospital staff charged with caring for them – as they cope with the complexity of the nation’s public health care system, while weathering the storm of a national recession.

The Waiting Room lays bare the struggle and determination of both a community and an institution coping with limited resources and no road map for navigating a health care landscape marked by historic economic and political dysfunction. It is a film about one hospital, its multifaceted community, and how our common vulnerability to illness binds us together as humans.

trailer at


Labor Unrest in Coal During and After World War II

4:16; U.S.

Director: United Mine Workers of America

Synopsis: Newsreel about the UMW’s fights with the Roosevelt administration during World War II.



The Stockyards: End of an Era

Synopsis: Film discusses the closing of the Chicago Stockyards, black struggles with union, history of work in yards, ethnic backgrounds.



The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal (1979)

120m; U.S.

Director: Mel Stuart

Cast: David Dukes, Tovah Feldshuh and Lauren Frost

Synopsis (IMDB): The story of a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist building in New York City in 1911 that resulted in the deaths of 146 employees, mostly young women. The ensuing investigation revealed the company’s almost total disregard for its workers’ safety in pursuit of increased production and profits, and resulted, among other things, in the passage of new worker safety laws.


The Triangle Fire

52m; U.S.

Director: Roy Campolongo

Synopsis: The Triangle Fire documentary chronicles those remarkable times, when the rising forces of industry converged with the greatest mass migration in history. We explore the dramatic events of the late 19th, and early 20th century labor movement, that reached a crescendo with the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911. This film examines the relationship between New York’s rapidly growing metropolis, corrupt political infrastructure, an industry’s desire for profit, and the human rights of its workers. Furthermore, the documentary investigates how we have adapted today, to those epic events that would forever change the fabric of our nation.  Part of PBS’ “American Experience” series.

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We Dig Coal: A Portrait of Three Women (1982)

58m; U.S.

Director: Thomas C. Goodwin, Dorothy McGhee, Gerardine Wurzburg

Synopsis: On October 2, 1979, Marilyn McCusker was killed working inside a deep coal mine in central Pennsylvania. It had taken her two years and a sex discrimination suit in federal court to get her job as a coal miner. This award-winning film has been called “the best documentary ever made on women in non-traditional occupations.”



Westray (2001)

Synopsis: Canadian mining disaster.

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Documentary, Safety & Health



Who Needs Sleep? (2006)

75m; U.S.

Director: Haskell Wexler
  David AgusNetta Bank and Annette Bening |

Documentary highlights the deadly combination of sleep deprivation and long days of work.




Work in Progress (2009)

12m; Canada

Synopsis: The life of an injured worker is seen through her challenges, both personal and the bureaucratic.

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Documentary, Safety & Health