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Free Film Show
Sat 22 April 2017, 14:00 – 17:30 IST
A Programme for the week leading up to Mayday
A Celebration of Trade Unionism
Three films on the themes of trade unionism and public service;-
2pm: Salt of the Earth (1954) – 93mins Director: Herbert Biberman
Blacklisted by Hollywood this film set in Zinctown, N.M. uses a combination of actors and non-professionals to tell a great story. Sparked by a mine accident, the workers, mostly Mexican Americans, go on strike. Safety is the issue, but is inextricably linked with racial discrimination as Anglo miners work in pairs, while Mexican Americans are forced to work alone. It is only through solidarity , and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that the miners eventually triumph. One of the great union films, it is also a celebration of male-female solidarity. Co-produced by the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelt Workers, Salt of the Earth was assembled under conditions of extreme duress by a group of Hollywood expatriates, all victims of the Blacklist.
3.45pm: Where’s the Fire Brigade Daddy? – 8mins: Well Red Films
Interesting short, looking at the future of public services. In a first-floor flat in any British town or city a fire is raging. This film follows events, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, when the victims try to contact the fire services.
4pm: Ditching the Fear (2015) – 80mins:
Directors: Rosa Cannone/Johanna Schellhagen
Since 2008 in northern Italy, unusual things have been happening. Companies, the political class and the media are using the onset of the crisis to further undermine workers' rights. On the other side, a lively and strong resistance has been forming at the bottom end of the wage scale. Warehouse workers in Italy have managed to turn the tables on the bosses and engage in more offensive struggles - in a new sector (logistics) whose emergence itself was closely connected to capital's attack on the old workers' strongholds through dispersion of production. The workers involved are mostly (male) migrant workers, largely from North, East and sub-saharan Africa and India. Migrant workers are usually blamed for the downward trend in wages and as such, are easily scapegoated for the ills of capitalist crisis.