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Category Archives: Women

Made in Bangladesh

2019 ‧ Drama ‧ 1h 30m

Made in Bangladesh is a 2019 Bangladeshi drama film directed by Rubaiyat Hossain. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Initial release: September 6, 2019
Director: Rubaiyat Hossain
Language: Bengali language

‘Made in Bangladesh’: Film Review | TIFF 2019

Notes by Steve Cook, President, Washington Baltimore News Guild; cookstevend@gmail.com
Tells the story of a garment worker who decides to organize her coworkers into a union after a fire kills her best friend. The young woman, Shimu, has to overcome skepticism from her coworkers, resistance from her husband, double-crossing from a coworker, pressure from her bosses, bureaucratic inertia from the government, and a host of obstacles like we all face.
I want everyone in my shop and other open shops to see this movie. It really lays out what we all face in organizing, but the stakes are clear as day in a way that it often is difficult to communicate to our units. It would be great if it were available in DVDs, so locals could show it, or people could share it in their homes, or pass it around.
The film also highlights the universal struggles unions face anywhere in the world. The things I described above are things we face in our own organizing efforts. I also took away a message of solidarity with working people regardless of their nationality, geographic location, gender, or ethnicity. Their struggle is our struggle. These are messages that people must hear again and again. Cameron Bailey, the TIFF artistic director called Shimu, “the Norma Rae we need now.”
This movie has distribution in France starting Dec. 5 though an outfit called Pyramide International, which TIFF lists as the international sale agent. As far as I know, no one has picked it up in North America. I think it would be ideal for the DC Labor Filmfest, but also would be great if it could get exposure in North America in the meantime. If you have connections in the distribution industry, perhaps you could spread awareness of the movie among them.
The contact information for Pyramide in the TIFF book are sales@pyramidefilms.com, and 0033142960220.
I also am including some links that give you a fuller idea of what Made in Bangladesh is about. I hope I’ve given enough description of how important I think this movie is. Please feel free to contact me for a fuller description or for any way that I may be able to help.
Steve Cook, President, Washington Baltimore News Guild; cookstevend@gmail.com

https://www.tiff.net/events/made-in-bangladesh

Q&A following the TIFF screening.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPNS4XEoZRU

Pyramide International
http://inter.pyramidefilms.com/pyramidefilms-international-catalogue/made-in-bangladesh.html

 

Our Time Has Come: The Story of the 9 to 5 Movement

In production
Directed by Julia Reichert

Documents the rise of the movement for recognition and fair wages/benefits for women clerical and service workers.

 

On the Basis of Sex (2018)

The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

 

A Feeling Greater Than Love

Mary Jirmanus Saba
Lebanon | 2017 | Documentary | 93 minutes

Dreams of popular revolution, erased by civil war. A young girl martyred at a factory strike in Beirut in 1972 – her identity shrouded in mystery.  A meditation on revolution, cinema and their possibilities, past and present.

In her directorial debut, Mary Jirmanus Saba deals with a forgotten revolution, saving from oblivion bloodily suppressed strikes at Lebanese tobacco and chocolate factories. These events from the 1970s, which held the promise of a popular revolution and, with it, of women’s emancipation were erased from collective memory by the country’s civil wars. Rich in archival footage from Lebanon’s militant cinema tradition, the film reconstructs the spirit of that revolt, asking of the past how we might transform the present.

 

Support the Girls (2018)

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Writer: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Dylan Gelula, Zoe Graham, Ann McCaskey
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 30m
Genre: Comedy
The general manager at a highway-side ”sports bar with curves” has her incurable optimism and faith, in her girls, her customers, and herself, tested over the course of a long, strange day.

 

A WOMAN CAPTURED (2017)

BERNADETT TUZA-RITTER, 2017 • HUNGARY

A WOMAN CAPTURED follows the life of a European woman who has been held by a Budapest family as a domestic slave for 10 years. She is one of over 45 million victims of modern day slavery today. Drawing courage from the filmmaker’s presence and the camera as witness, the woman captured attempts to escape the unbearable oppression and become a free person.

 

From Cable Street to Brick Lane (2012)

A non-linear tribute to successive generations of immigrants and trade unionists in London’s East End, and their triumph over prejudice and intolerance.

Archive footage brings to life the 1936 Battle of Cable Street when Irish dockers ran to the aid of Jews, socialists, anarchists and communists whose protest against a march by the British Union of Fascists provoked an attack by the police. Interviewees – including artist Bob & Roberta Smith and writer Rachel Lichtenstein – recall the subsequent struggles of anti-fascists against racial and homophobic violence in the 1970s and 1990s, depicting a vibrant but disparate community united against hate.