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Category Archives: Technology

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.

 

Last Reel (2015)

Directed by: Steven Bognar
Running Time: 8 min
Starring:  

Website: N/a

Synopsis:  Film projectionists at the Little Art Theatre in Ohio speak about the craft of 35mm projection and the heartache in transitioning to digital formats, feeling the loss of yet another handcrafted profession.

 

Metropolis (1927)

Directed by: Fritz Lang
Running Time: 148 min
Starring: N/A

Website: http://www.kinolorber.com/sites/metropolis/

Synopsis: In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

 

Buzzard (2014)

97 min | Comedy, Drama | 6 March 2015 (USA)
Director/writer: Joel Potrykus
Stars: Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus, Teri Ann Nelson

Marty is a caustic, small-time con artist drifting from one scam to the next. When his latest ruse goes awry, mounting paranoia forces him from his lousy small town temp job to the desolate streets of Detroit with nothing more than a pocket full of bogus checks, a dangerously altered Nintendo® Power Glove, and a bad temper. Albert Camus meets Freddy Krueger in BUZZARD, a hellish and hilarious riff on the struggles of the American working class.

NYTimes: Review: In ‘Buzzard,’ an Angry, Unkempt Antihero
An unsparing portrait of an office temp and scam artist near the bottom of the economic food chain.
NYTimes: Joel Potrykus’s Film ‘Buzzard’ Is Inspired by Dead-End Jobs
The writer and director’s deadpan comedies have followed a man-child on the skids.

 

Sunder Nagri (Beautiful City) (2003)

Director: Rahul Roy
English (subtitled), 78 min, 2003, India
http://magiclanternmovies.in/film/city-beautiful

Sunder Nagri (Beautiful City) is a small working class colony on the margins of India’s capital city, Delhi. Most families residing here come from a community of weavers. The last ten years have seen a gradual disintegration of the handloom tradition of this community under the globalisation regime. The families have to cope with change as well as reinvent themselves to eke out a living.

Radha and Bal Krishan are at a critical point in their relationship. Bal Krishan is underemployed and constantly cheated. They are in disagreement about Radha going out to work. However, through all their ups and downs they retain the ability to laugh.Shakuntla and Hira Lal hardly communicate. They live under one roof with their children but are locked in their own sense of personal tragedies.

Producer: Rahul Roy
Creative Crew
Camera: Rahul Roy
Editing: Reena Mohan
Sound: Asheesh Pandya

Rahul is a noted documentary filmmaker who has widely worked on the issues of labor and gender in India. His film The City Beautiful masterfully depicts the life of two families in an Indian working-class colony, focussing on the decline of traditional handloom industry because of globalization. His recent work The Factory (2015) is about the struggle of Maruti automobile workers in New Delhi. For more than two years, 147 workers from the Maruti Suzuki plant were kept behind bars without bail or any charge sheet being presented to the defence counsel. Rahul has followed their crisis and struggle from 2013 to 2015. Read more about the film in this Indian Express piece.

Director contact info: rahulroy63@gmail.com

 

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

 

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).

The project is currently on view at the Venice Biennale, where it can be seen until 22 November 2015. Past presentations took place at the Boston Center for the Arts and the Sherman Gallery at Boston University between September and December 2014.

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

www.harunfarocki.de