PROCLAIM LOUDLY WHAT IS HAPPENING:
Labour Activism on Film

Saturday 23rd January 2021

CLASS OF STRUGGLE, dir. Groupe Medvedkine

This retrospective double bills two radical and forceful expressions of documentary filmmaking from two radical and resolute coalitions of labour activists and artists.

 

In the car manufacturing industry of Detroit, we see the struggle of the League Of Revolutionary Black Workers as it takes on the inequalities and injustices faced by both black and white workers. Whilst on the assembly line of France’s border, the workers themselves take up the role of filmmaker under the nominer of Groupe Medvedkine, documenting their own activism and protest as they fight the draconian measures of their employer.

 

Whilst markedly different in style, what unites both is the determination that labour activism doesn’t stop at the factory gates. These films are clarion calls to the wider working community to unite and propose a radical reorganisation of the economy, social order and workers rights. Programmed by Tom Grimshaw. 95' 

Please note, this screening can only be accessed by UK audiences. 

Saturday 23rd January at 6.00pm

Online

Films:

FINALLY GOT THE NEWS

League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman, Peter Gessner

55'

1970

USA

A forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with the members of the movement, footage shot in the auto plants, and footage of leafleting and picketing actions, the film documents their efforts to build an independent black labor organisation that, unlike the UAW, will respond to worker's problems, such as the assembly line speed-up and inadequate wages faced by both black and white workers in the industry.

CLASS OF STRUGGLE

Groupe Medvedkine

40'

1969

France

The birth of a union branch in a watch-making factory in 1968. This is the first film made by the workers of the Medvedkine group, showing how Suzanne manages to convince the other women working in the factory to regroup, despite the uncooperative union leaders and the management's intimidations.

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