It has been quite a few weeks that I have compiled a list of the Top Labour-Oriented Movies. After publishing the previous article, we have received an overwhelming amount of responses from our readers.
After witnessing huge participation, we have decided to list down some awesome Labour Documentaries, exclusively for you all. Yes, that’s right!
Trade union documentary that
Here is a list of Top Labour Documentaries which you just cannot afford to miss!
American Factory 2019
Trade union documentary that best describes money, labor, people is “American Factory”. “The feature-length story they tell here is complex, stirring, timely, and beautifully shaped, spanning continents as it surveys the past, present, and possible future of American labor.”
American Dream (1990):
In 1985, laborers go on a strike to protest against Hormel Foods Corporation for an hourly wage cut from $10.69 to $8.25 and reduction of benefits by 30 percent, despite posting a net profit of $30 Million. Nonetheless, complications arise when the National Union, United Food, and Commercial Workers, don’t follow suit. In an attempt to seek justice, the laborers hire a Freelance Strike Consultant, Ray Rogers, who convinces them to stand their ground and promises of a corporate campaign to draw national press attention. However, the plan backfires and Hormel locked out the workers and hired replacements, leading to a series of violent conflicts. As the battle extends into months and years, the laid-off workers face financial hardships, leaving behind a scene of an unsuccessful strike in the heartland of the United States. In 1991, the American Dream went onto win an Oscar and is considered one of the best Trade Union Documentaries.
The Fight in the Fields (1997):
This documentary traces the history of the United Farm Workers’ Union and the contribution of its founder, Cesar Chavez, in organizing a campaign for Minimum Wages for Agricultural Workers. After many dramatic attempts including the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, Boycott against California Grape Growers, and Senate hearings with Robert F. Kennedy; Cesar Chavez’s leadership helped bring about important changes in Farm-workers’ lives.
Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976):
In 1973, in rural Kentucky, 180 Coal Miners went on a strike against Duke Power Company’s Eastover Coal Company and voted to join the United Mineworkers Union for better safety and higher wages. As a result, the Owners of the mine brought in replacement workers and armed enforcers. In a span of one year, the strike turned violent, with guns produced on both sides. In 1977, Harlan County, USA won the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 49th Academy Awards.
Roger & Me (1989):
In his directorial debut, Michael Moore depicts the economic impact of Roger Smith’s decision to close down General Motors’ several auto plants in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. As a result, 30,000 employees lost their jobs, reducing GM’s employees in that area from 80,000 in 1978 to about 50,000 in 1992. Roger & Me revolves around Moore’s quest to confront General Motor’s CEO, Roger Smith, and make him answer for his actions.
The Take (2004):
It tells the story of 30 unemployed workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina who reclaim control of a closed Forja Auto Plant where they once worked and attempted to kick-start their dead careers. They set up shops in the deserted auto factory and declared their intentions to restart the plant as a cooperative business, without the aid of bosses. In an effort to establish their own control, they survived the Police Violence, opposition from the Government, Court Trials, and Legislative System, and ultimately secured their right to operate it themselves, as a cooperative.
Working Man’s Death (2005):
An Austrian-German Documentary, by Michael Glawogger, the film chronicles examples of hazardous and backbreaking jobs and the extremes to which workers go to earn a living in several countries around the world. Excruciating hardships in jobs like Coal Mining in Ukraine, Sulfur Collection from Volcanoes in Indonesia, and Steel Manufacturing in blazing forges in China have been shown in the film. In 2007, Working Man’s Death went onto win the title of Outstanding Documentary at the German Film Awards.
Hello Cinephiles, do you feel we have missed a great Documentary? Do let us know!