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FilmWorks United

This year, we are showing these films for free (donations are welcomed) for the first time as a part of the LaborFest. In light of the pressing economic conditions that working people face as a result of the present depression, it will be an opportunity for all to see these important labor films.
Seats are limited, so please come early.
Before each 7:00 PM screening, the theater will be cleared.

July 5 (Monday) (Free/Donation) Little Roxie Theatre - 3117 16th St., at Valencia, SF
2:00 Show
Two camps (24 min.)
2009 - South Africa
By Rehad Desai, Arya Lalloo 
The story of two transient   camps, and the struggle of the residents against abject living conditions, and other fears of being reintegrated into a hostile South Africa. The shocking xenophobic attacks on immigrants in South Africa from their neighbors is the focus of this work.

The Fight For Housing At Gympie Street (30 min.) (2010)
By Labor Video Project  

The government is driving out thousands of poor working class residents out of their homes in Capetown to make way for commercial development and for the world soccer games. This documentary allows them to tell their stories and also includes interviews about the privatization of South Africa.

3:00 Show
Test of Courage: The Making of A Firefighter (56.40 ) (2000)
By Kyung Sun Yu & Gary  Mercer 

This is a behind-the-scenes look at the trials and triumphs of a group of young men and women competing to become firefighters. Filmed over the course of three years in Oakland, California - one of the most culturally diverse cities in America - the program follows a cast of aspiring firefighters, men and women from different ethnic backgrounds, who are competing against 5000 applicants for only 50 jobs. The program gets inside the lives and hearts of these applicants and shows the grueling training and preparation they go through as the applicant pool gets continually narrowed down.

4:00 Show
The Zone  (40 min.) (2010) - Turkey
By Guliz Saglam, Feryal Saygiligil

Seven workers, all women... Four free trade zones in four different Turkish cities. Surrounded by high walls, barbed wire fences, very much like a concentration camp. This documentary covers the working conditions of women in the free trade zones, their experiences, observations and their hopes for the future. The barbed wire fences not only surround the zones but also accentuate the captivity of women, of women workers. So much so that the borders of the zone evade us, inside and outside is indistinguishable.

Like A Bird In The Cage: Women in Desa Resistance   (30 min.) (2009) - Turkey
By Guliz Saglam, Feryal Saygiligil

This is about the female workers who were fired from their factory. The documentary reveals the working conditions of women, the experience they gain while organizing, the advantages of resistance, their hopes and expectations and the Istanbul Women’s Platform who is in solidarity with them throughout resistance strike.


5:20 Show
The Concrete Revolution   (61 min.) (2004)- China
By Xiaolu Guo

The largest construction projects in the world are now going on in China and this film shows the massive construction jobs in preparation for the Beijing Olympics. We see the daily lives of the workers and the in many cases unscrupulous conditions in which workers are driven to despair because of their mistreatment by contractors and speculators.



7:00 Show
Mine War On Blackberry Creek  (28:30) (1986)
By Anne Lewis 

Mine War on Blackberry Creek reports on the long and bitter United Mine Workers of America strike in 1984 against A.T. Massey, America’s fourth largest coal company with corporate ties to apartheid South Africa. While strikebreakers work inside the mines and security men with guard dogs and cameras patrol the compound, miners on the picket lines detail the history of labor struggles in the region and their determination to hold out until victory.


Coal Country  (85 min.) (2009)
By Phyllis Geller

Passions are running high in the mountains of Appalachia. Families and communities are deeply split over what is being done to their land by the latest form of strip mining called mountaintop removal, or MTR. Coal companies blast the tops off mountains and run the debris into valleys and streams, filling air and water with chemicals, and an ancient mountain range is disappearing forever. The communities are destroyed by coal companies including Massey Energy that are anti-labor and only interested in getting profits from the coal despite the costs to the community. Link to website for the Coal Country movie.



July 6 (Tuesday) (Free/Donation) Little Roxie Theatre - 3117 16th St., at Valencia, SF
2:00 Show
What’s The Economy For, Anyway?
By John de Graaf (40 min.) (2009)
A critique of our consumer-driven model of economic growth and its supreme cost to our planet and the quality of our lives. This film outlines what drives the US economy and why the market is breaking down.

3:00 Show
Who Will Pick The Avocados? (22 min.) (2007) - Israel
By Shiri Wilk 

An international trade-union delegation studies the labor market in Israel’s agricultural sector. The six delegates hail from the US, Spain, Germany and Thailand. Invited by The Workers Advice Center, they witness a sector that is manipulated by profit-driven personnel companies in a context of volatile political conflict. The Israeli filmmaker presents the hardships of three groups: local Arab women, thirsty to improve their life by finding work; Thais who arrive bonded by huge debts, ready to compete for jobs at any cost; and Palestinians stuck behind the separation wall.


On The Track of The Struggles (26 min.) (2010) - Brazil
By Ana Cristina Silva, Rodrigo Correia 

GM workers challenge the strong alliance between GM, Public Authorities and the Press to make working hours flexible. This video shows strong assemblies led by the trade-union in front of GM plant challenging the “campaign” against workers’ rights under the disguise of job creation. All this happens in the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, where GM has a plant that hires 8,000 autoworkers.

Conlutas In Haiti  (12 min.) (2010) - Brazil
By Ana Cristina Silva, Rodrigo Correia 

Brazilian trade-unionists of Conlutas visit Haiti after the earthquake, from March 30th till April 3rd 2010. Devastating images of Port Prince exposes the “Humanitarian Aid” efforts led by UN and other rich countries. The exploitation of cheap labor is addressed as well. Conlutas, a new Labor Federation, leads a Campaign against the Occupation of Haiti led by the Brazilian military, and for Workers’ Aid to Haitian Workers.

4:20 Show
Nothing But A Man (92 min.) (1994) (Drama)
By Michael Roemer

This drama shows the conditions of Black workers in the 1960’s in the context of a love story between railroad section hand and preacher’s daughter.  The racist and class discrimination facing railroad worker Ivan Dixon as Duff when he is about to marry Abie Lincoln as Josie is stark. He refuses to play the “uncle Tom game” and faces a difficult future. This is the growing condition for millions of Black workers in the United States who are facing massive unemployment and deprivation.


6:00 Show
Wind That Blows From The Workers: Tekel Struggle
By iscinet  (40 min.) (2010) - Turkey

In November 2003, Turkish State’s ruling party AKP sold the TEKEL alcohol and spirits plants to a national consortium (MEY) for $292 million. Despite the fraud and corruption behind TEKEL’s privatization, the new owners were further granted bank credits with no down payment for a period of two years. The “new owners” in turn had re-sold the alcohol and spirits component of TEKEL to Texas Pacific Group in 2 years time for a total of $900 million! On December 15, 2009, the workers’ of TEKEL had taken the streets of the main district of Ankara as the center of resistance.


7:00 Show
Red Tail (86 min.) (2009)
By Melissa Koch, Dawn Mikkelson

This film shows the story behind the Northwest Airlines NWA AMFA strike in 2005 and the outsourcing of skilled mechanics jobs. This issue of the decline of wages for working people in the United States is a devastating reality to millions of working people in the US and this at the center of this film. The issue of the outsourcing of these jobs led mechanic Roy Koch to follow the jobs to China where mechanics were doing the jobs of the 4,400 NWA strikers. We learn about what happens to the planes and workers in China when jobs are outsourced from the US for more corporate profits.
Melissa Koch, co-producer will be introducing the film and answering questions on her film


July 7 (Wednesday) (Free/Donation) Little Roxie Theatre - 3117 16th St., at Valencia, SF
2:00 Show
Time To Tackle Climate Change (20:26) (2009)
By SustainLabour
The International Trade Union Confederation ITUC showcases trade unions’ concrete experiences, challenges, and commitments for action on climate change. Union officials’ messages emphasize that the environment, employment, and a just transition to a sustainable economy are all part of the same fight. www/,


3 Minutes Videos from Japan (30 min.) (2009) - Japan
By LaborFest Japan

Japan LaborFest has an annual festival of 3 minutes shorts. These shorts show the lives and struggles of Japanese workers from postal workers and teachers who are fighting militarization to the struggle of young workers working in temporary jobs to build unions.

3:00 Show
The GM Tool and Die Strike (26 min.) (1939)
By The UAW

This film done by the UAW shows how this strike was organized and the use of the flying picket squads, strike kitchen and other tools to make this a powerful and successful strike.


AFT On The Move  (16 min.)
By Fred Glass

This film is about who the union is, what it does and why San Francisco community college teachers should be part of this union. It includes interviews from many teachers about their view of the union.

Among Garbage & Flower  (15 min.)
By Jeff M. Giordano
A day in the life of sanitation workers. Who are the workers who do this job?
Jump into the Trashman Psyche with this short documentary about New Jersey men of sanitation, Shannon and John.

4:15 Show
Breaking The Silence (126 min.) (2009) - Japan
By Toshikuni Doi

This award winning film by Japanese journalist Toshikuni Doi shows the actions and affects of Israeli army members of their invasions and occupations of  Palestine. Doi shows the attack in Spring 2002 on the West Bank refugee camps in Jenin and Balalat. At the same time former Israeli soldiers are opening an exhibit breaking the silence of their experiences in the military.



7:00 Show
Harvest of Loneliness - The Bracero Program  (56 min.)
By Vivian Price and Gilbert G. Gonzalez (2010)

This film shows how the Bracero Program came about and who it benefited. Part of the effort today is to establish another Bracero Program and this striking documentary shows the lives of these workers who numbers in the millions and the great profits that they brought major farmowners.
Directors will attend screening and answer questions.

The Coca-Cola Case (81 min.)
By Carmen Garcia and German Gutierrez (2009) - Canada

This important film shows the struggle to get justice for the workers and their families of the Coke bottling plant workers in Columbia. These workers have been terrorize, murdered and raped by the Colombian company owners in complicity with US executives and are fighting for a trial for these crimes in Florida. Over 1400 Colombian trade unionists have been assassinated for union activity in past years and US companies are intimately involved in some of these murders. Through interviews with the lawyers, the conspiracy of the Coca-Cola company to destroy unions and violate democratic rights is a threat to workers and people throughout the world and this films exposes these criminal connections.
It also shows the privatization of the water supplies for the profit of this multi-national.


July 8 (Thursday) (Free/Donation) Little Roxie Theatre - 3117 16th St., at Valencia, SF
2:00 Show
34 Years of Struggle  (61 min.) (2007) - Japan
By Zenkin Motoyama Union & Video Press
Japan’s labor movement has a long tradition of struggle although the corporate media help censor these battles. This film is about the longest strike in the history of Japan at the Motoyama plant in Sendai, Japan. The plant owner, which manufactured valves, fired some of the strongest union members and the workers were locked out for over 12,000 days until they finally won their jobs back. This is one of the longest struggles for labor justice in the world and ended with a victory.


Three Years Post Katrina (5 min.) (2008)
By Colette Washington & CNA 

The video produced three years after Katrina looks at the affect of the hurricane on the healthcare system and the healthcare crisis today. Over 65% of the people in New Orleans have no healthcare insurance and the government still refuses to re-open the Charity Hospital which employed 5,000 healthcare workers and provided care for those without health insurance in the region. The hospital was built by the WPA and a campaign is still going on to re-open it.

3:30 Show
Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia (90 min.) (2009)
By John Hughes

This important film shows the history of Australian trade unionists in fighting for the independence of Indonesia at the end of the Second World War. Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens made a film documenting the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Indonesian Republic and John Hughes bring back this history.
Review of Hughes’ Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia


5:00 Show
What we see is our own Face   (57:21)  (2010) - Turkey
By Ahmet Özer

This documents the resistance off the Tekel tobacco workers, who won their struggle in court after spending nearly 3 months out on the streets under a “tent city” they erected in downtown Ankara.  The solidarity that emerged during the time workers slept, ate and discussed politics under the snow, rain and bitter winter is documented. The workers of Tekel come from different regions belonging to different ethnic backgrounds and find real solidarity under class basis as they struggle for their common rights against the government and privateers.
They join together in the struggle against their contracting status that they have been forced to accept.  They learn that the Prime Minister who they supported is supporting this contracting out system to privatize the company and their union leaders have also abandoned them to fight on their own.

6:00 Show - Special showing
Workers Stand Against Israeli Apartheid (48 min.) 2010
In a historic labor/community protest on June 20, 2010, more than five hundred people joined picket lines in the Port of Oakland SSA terminal to call on ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 members not to cross the picket lines and work the Israeli Zim ship Shenzhen. The  protest of the attack by Israel on the aid flotilla going to Gaza and the ongoing blockade of Gaza.
The longshore workers refused to cross the picket line and the protesters as a result were successful in stopping the work on the SSA terminal for 24 hours halting the ships departure until the following day.
This labor documentary shows the link and continuity of this action with the 1984 apartheid picket of a ship from South Africa. ILWU workers and others make comparison of these pickets and also why they consider Israel an apartheid regime. Footage of this action and the action today provide a striking connection over 26 years. The port boycott picket was also endorsed by the Oakland Education Association OEA and the San Francisco and Alameda Central Labor Councils. Many Bay Area trade unionists, who joined the picket line speak out on this issue and why they have taken a stand.
Production of Labor Video Project

7:00 Show
Way Down In the Hole  (36.50) (2010)
By Alex Johnston

Film producer Alex Johnson will introduce the film.
This film provides a visceral exploration of the Great Colorado Coalfield War and the infamous Ludlow Massacre of 1914, juxtaposed with a series of emotional present day interviews with coal miners, who connect this long ago struggle to their own experiences underground.

Weabak: Sleep Over (73 min.) (2009) - Korea
By Kim Mi-re 

Five hundred Korean women supermarket cashiers struggle for a union and against a mass layoff of part-time workers and are forced to occupy their supermarket “Home Ever” in Seoul for 510 days. This powerful film shows that women workers who normally would not consider this radical action join together and are transformed by their organizing struggle. They face the wrath of thugs and union busters but hold their own in their effort to win a union. It also shows the issues of women in Korean society where these women overcome these social constraints.