Iron Moon: The Poetry of Chinese Migrant Workers (84 min.) 2015
Directed by: Xiaoyu Qin and Feiyue Wu
The new film from China Iron Moon is a powerful artistic view of the massive industrialization of China through the eyes and words of the workers who have made the new China. At Foxconn, which has over 200,000 workers and produces most of our Apple phones, workers face a life of despair. One of them who committed suicide at the age of 24, left 200 poems of despair, “I swallowed an iron moon…” Using poetry as a tool to chip away at the ice of silence, they and other workers in this film express the hidden stories and life experiences of millions of the workers who are the foundation of the new China.
It weaves from worker to worker, from a female clothing factory worker who lives in poverty but writes poetry rich in dignity and love; a coal miner who works deep in the earth, trying to make peace with the spirits of his dead coworkers through his poetry; rock miner Chen Nianxi, who traveled to San Francisco this year, speaking of his life; working in the mines to support his family, gold-mine demolitions worker blasting rock several kilometers into mountainsides, while writing poetry to carry the weight of his fury, “My body carries three tons of dynamite..” These could be any of the 350 million workers in China, and yet they are also poets. These stories of the life and struggles of Chinese workers are a mournful song and tale of global capitalism.
Play On (83 min.) (2017)
Directed by: Gyuri Byun
What happens when subcontracted workers turn into podcast DJs? Subcontracted workers at SK Broadband, Inc. began a podcast broadcast titled Workers Have Changed, to deliver the news about their strike for job security. The podcast studio has become a theater of their life as they share their stories—daily hardships of subcontracted labor, coping with rude customers, and their future and dreams. They finally achieved a victory to convert their employment status from non-regular to regular, yet with their monthly income cut in half. Given this “half” success complicating the picture, Bong-Keun, a union member, decided to quit the job.