Sunday, November 23, 2014

#Strike! Shock Doctrine & enough labor movies for a film festival

…but online as a series, called Strike! after a) the topic, b) Sergei Eisenstein's first full length film, and c) the Skokie Public Library online list of labor movies that Anna Spiro recently posted to the adj-l listserv… a public PS to Anna: I found a free online pdf version of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine and full (also free) online versions for most of the films on the to decide which one to start with this evening (making this Sunday movie time more soiree than matinee). PPS: feel free to suggest more movies 

Anna wrote:
Onz upon a time — before Reagan and Thatcher and Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics — there was something called Keynesian economics [+ a mercifully brief comparison of Chicago School and Keynesian theories] and unionization. I truly feel all of the lessons of the past have been forgotten by the present generation, who need to get out there and fight for what they deserve. 
Here are some movies that perhaps should be shown during adjunct week or fair labor practices week... that would make a lot of sense these days. The list is from the Skokie (IL) public library. The banksters and their ilk have had a free ride for long enough... It's NOT just adjuncts...but people who work for Walmart, etc.   
I also again recommend at least Chapter One of Naomi Klein's' The Shock Doctrine ~ horrific and revealing in how how rights continue to be taken away from us. (We are about to get cameras inside NYS trains...)

Strike! Movies about Labor Unions

I replied: 
Thanks for the great movie list. I'm going to see how many of these I can find online for "precarious faculty movie time" aka Sunday Matinee posts. The series includes (but is not limited to) feature movies and lectures about the economy, social justice, labor and organizing. I embed a video or link to free viewing when available. Otherwise, we make do with links, stills and short clips. I've already blogged Norma Rae and Salt of the Earth, which are on the list below: 

❝With recent political disputes in Wisconsin and Michigan over labor unions, I was very curious to see the new movie Made in Dagenham, depicting the 1968 strike of British women machinists that led to massive, worldwide sexual equality measures.

How differently things were handled back then! Only the men had ever gone on strike at the British Ford motor plant in Dagenham. It was a new thing for the women, and because they effectively shut down the whole plant, the men were forced out of work as well, which many of them were not happy about. 

But in addition to a very sympathetic male labor organizer, the Labor Minister, Barbara Castle, also defied Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the president of Ford to rally for the women’s rights. It almost feels too good to be true, but it is—and high time: 1968 is not exactly ancient history! Sally Hawkins stars as the petite factory worker whose courage and intelligence carried the movement.❞

Many of the following movies about labor unions are also based on historical events:
  • The Big One (Michael Moore documentary, part of which shows Borders employees forming  a union)
  •  Black Gold (documentary about the unjust conditions of Ethiopian coffee farmers)
  • Germinal (1994, French, coal miners go on strike in France in the mid 19th century)
  • Harlan County, USA. (1976, documentary about the 1973 strike of United Mine Workers of America)
  • Harlan County War (2000, the wife and daughter of Kentucky mine workers joins the picket lines)
  • Matewan 1987, John Sayles film about the historical clash between unionist miners and a tyrannical coal company in 1920's West Virginia)
  • Norma Rae (1979, the struggle to unionize a textile mill)
  • North Country (2005, true story of the landmark 1984 sexual harassment lawsuit by a female miner)
  • Potiche  (factory workers go on strike in 1977 France; the factory owner’s wife steps in to settle the dispute) Catherine Deneuve, a Comedy)
  • Salt of the Earth (1954, wives of zinc miners in New Mexico take up the fight when their husbands are prevented from picketing)
  • Stachka (1925, Sergei Eisenstein, silent film from Tsarist Russia about locomotive factory workers protesting harsh conditions)
  • Strike (2006, a Polish worker causes a shipyard strike leading to the first free unions & the downfall of the Soviet system)
  • Strumpet City (1980, Irish miniseries about the 1913 labor uprising)
  • The Valley of Decision (1945, the daughter of a crippled mill worker and the son of the steel mill owner fall in love during a strike)
For more titles about working people, check out the Skokie library's All In A Days' Work list.

No comments:

Post a Comment

pull up a soapbox and share your 2¢

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...