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Category Archives: Working Class

Union Leader

Releasing January 19, 2018 | directed by Sanjay Patel
Starring Rahul Bhat, Tillotama Shome

In a country where the voice of the powerless is often suppressed, it’s time to explore the pain of labour.

A 2017 production of Dim Lights Pictures, Inc and Platoon One Films.

“It portrays workers at a (I think) chromium sulfate plant, in India, union-represented, who are dying of cancer.  One guy decides change is needed.  He organizes his co-workers, with all the ebbs and flows that happen when you do that – threats, fights, people step up and then back down, he’s beaten up.  He pisses blood.  He goes to a labor inspector who seems great – and then gets paid off by the boss.  The boss tries to pay our hero off.  There is a vote and the new union of the real workers is voted in and our hero becomes the leader. It reminds me of ‘Christ in Concrete,’ but it has a happy ending. ”
– Ann Hoffman

 

IN THE AISLES (IN DEN GÄNGEN)

Germany, 2018, 125 min., Director: Thomas Stuber, Screenplay: Clemens Meyer, Thomas Stuber, Cast: Sandra Hüller, Franz Rogowski, Peter Kurth, Distribution: MusicBox Films

After the shy and reclusive Christian loses his job, he finds work at a wholesale market. Bruno from the beverage aisle takes him under his wing and quickly becomes a fatherly friend to him. He shows him the ropes and patiently teaches him how to operate the fork lift. Among the aisles of the store, Christian meets “Sweets”-Marion. He is instantly smitten by her enigmatic charm. The coffee machine becomes their regular meeting point, and the two start getting to know each other. But Marion is married, and Christian’s feelings for her seem to remain unrequited. Christian slowly becomes a member of the wholesale market family, and his days of driving fork lifts and stacking shelves mean much more to him than meets the eye—especially when Marion does not return to work one day.

German Film Guild Award & Ecumenical Jury Award Berlin 2018
German Film Award 2018 (Best Leading Actor)

Thomas Stuber was born in 1981 in Leipzig and completed his degree in Media and Directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2011. With the short film Es geht uns gut he won the Young Talent Award of the Film Industry in Baden-Württemberg in 2006. His first feature film Teenage Angst was selected for the Berlinale/Perspektive Deutsches Kino in 2008 and won the German Young Talent Award at the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival. In 2011 his short film Of Dogs and Horses was nominated for the First Steps Award. It won the Gold German Short Film Award and received a second prize Student-Oscar in 2012. His feature film A Heavy Heart premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Silver German Film Award in 2016. His latest film, In the Aisles, premiered in Competition at the Berlinale 2018.

 

YOUNG KARL MARX, THE [LE JEUNE KARL MARX; DER JUNGE KARL MARX]

Following his documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, Raoul Peck takes on the story of the formative friendship of Karl Marx (August Diehl) and Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske). From Germany to France to England, the young thinkers pursue justice for the working class, who toiled under obscenely exploitative conditions to enrich their employers (including Engels’ father, a mill owner) during the peak of the Industrial Revolution. Peck crafts an accessible biopic about these two larger-than-life thinkers, taking them down from their historicized pedestals and allowing viewers to relate to them as young strivers disrupting an inequitable status quo through the power of persuasion and organization. Official selection, 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Raoul Peck; SCR Pascal Bonitzer; PROD Nicolas Blanc, Rémi Grellety, Robert Guédiguian. Germany/France/Belgium, 2017, color, 118 min. In German, English and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Run Time: 118 Minutes
Genre: Historical drama

 

NOTHING FACTORY, THE [A FÁBRICA DE NADA]

This multilayered examination of the struggle of the blue-collar working class holds a mirror to the political landscape in contemporary Portugal, and runs the gamut from cinema vérité to neorealist musical. Employees at an elevator parts manufacturer catch thieves robbing the factory. But the thieves have been hired by the management, who soon order the workers to report for their shifts and do nothing until the company-wide layoffs can begin. Factions form around those who want to strike and save their jobs and those who just want a decent severance package. FIPRESCI Prize, 2017 Cannes Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Toronto, Karlovy Vary, Busan film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Pedro Pinho; SCR/PROD Tiago Hespanha, Luisa Homem, Leonor Noivo; PROD João Matos, Susana Nobre. Portugal, 2017, color, 177 min. In Portuguese and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Run Time: 177 Minutes
Genre: Drama

 

MINER, THE [RUDAR]

2018 Oscar Selection, Slovenia
Since leaving Bosnia in the 1970s, Alija (Leon Lučev) has been working as a miner in Slovenia’s Zasavje coal region. One of many migrant workers employed in a failing industry, Alija is afraid to refuse when he is tasked with opening a long-sealed mineshaft to declare it empty. When he opens the abandoned shaft, however, Alija uncovers some terrible secrets. Refusing to bow to his employers’ demands to stay quiet, Alija sets out to expose the truth. Based on a true story, Slovenian director Hanna Slak’s (BLIND SPOT) powerful third feature reveals a dark chapter in Slovenia’s history with honesty and compassion. Winner, Best Director and Best Actor, 2017 Festival of Slovenian Film. DIR/SCR Hanna Slak; PROD Miha Knific, Siniša Juričić. Slovenia/Croatia, 2017, color, 98 min. In Slovenian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Run Time: 98 Minutes
Genre: Thriller

 

Death in Sarajevo

Smrt u Sarajevu

DANIS TANOVIC
Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2016
85 minutes, Color
Official website

Winner of the Jury Grand Prix and the International Film Critics Award at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Death in Sarajevo is a timely drama from acclaimed Bosnian filmmaker Danis Tanovic (FFDC 2015’s Tigers, the 2001 Foreign Language Oscar®-winning No Man’s Land). At Sarajevo’s Hotel Europe, preparations are under way to host the European Union’s centenary commemorating the assassination of Franz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip that triggered World War I, a French actor is in the Presidential Suite rehearsing the Bernard-Henri Levy play from which the hotel got its name, and a TV crew is filming local scholars discussing regional history. Manager Omer is dealing with a cash flow problem and a looming strike by workers while his assistant, Lamija, tries to keep things organized in the face of growing discord. What could possibly go wrong in the course of this highly charged history lesson?—Eddie Cockrell

In Bosnian with English subtitles

 

Xmas without China (2013)

Directed By: Alicia Dwyerl
Runtime: 70 min
Stars: – – –

Synopsis: Exploring the intersection of commercialism and immigration in American culture, the documentary filmmakers follow their friend and fellow filmmaker Tom Xia on an intimate, humorous journey to get to know his neighbors