2004 Labor Film Series
All films shown at the Eastman House Dryden Theater, 900 East Avenue
FRIDAY, 3 September. 8 p.m.
THE CITADEL (King Vidor, US/UK
1938, 112 min.) Robert Donat plays an idealistic doctor hired by the
workers at a Welsh coal mine. When the miners reject his modern
treatment methods, he moves to London and establishes a practice
exploiting rich hypochondriac patients, finally recovering his values,
however. Rex Harrison, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Richardson co-star in master
filmmaker Vidors moving statement on social class
and medical ethics.
FRIDAY, 10 September. 8 p.m.
THE BIG ONE (Michael Moore, 1997
US, 96 min.) While on a national tour to promote his book, Downsize
This!, Michael Moore finds himself faced with further examples of the
practices he’s written about: factory closings, lay-offs, outsourcing,
and temp jobs. Featuring memorable appearances from interview
subjects such as Studs Terkel, Garrison Keillor, and Nike CEO Phil
Knight, Moores follow-up to Roger and Me is an engaging road trip
across a country wracked by corporate greed.
FRIDAY, 17 September. 8 p.m. Rochester Premiere
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey 2003, 105 min., Turkish with English
subtitles) A farm worker stays with his urbanized photographer cousin
in a small Istanbul apartment while looking unsuccessfully for a job.
Subtly and believably, tensions between the two men mount toward an
inevitable confrontation. Ceylans wonderfully nuanced and sometimes
darkly funny study of an uncomfortable domestic arrangement won the
top acting prizes at the Cannes Film Festival for the two leads Mehmet
Emin Toprak and Muzaffer Ozdemir
FRIDAY, 24 September. 8 p.m.
THE ROOF (IL TETTO) (Vittorio De Sica,
Italy 1956, 98 min., Italian with English subtitles) This rarely shown gem
from director De Sica and writer Cesare Zavattini, collaborators on The
Bicycle Thief and Umberto D, is a heartwarming story about a pair
of working class newlyweds who search for a home in crowded postwar
Rome. Using their patented neorealist approach, the filmmakers deliver
another memorable finale in which the protagonists race against time to
finish construction on a squatters shack.
FRIDAY, 1 October. 8 p.m. Rochester Premiere
AN INJURY TO ONE and À BIENTÔT JESPÈRE (I'LL BE SEEING YOU) (Chris Marker, France 1967, 43 min., video, French with
English subtitles) Master cinema essayist Marker takes a look at the history
behind the unusual strike at a textile factory in Besançon, France in 1967
where the workers refused to disassociate wage issues from demands for greater
workplace control. Followed by the equally stirring AN INJURY TO ONE (Travis
Wilkerson, US 2002, 52 min.) which intriguingly relates the story of the
1917 murder of Wobbly union organizer Frank Little in Butte, Montana,
and the environmental legacy of Buttes copper mines.
FRIDAY, 8 October. 8 p.m.
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED (Kim Bartley/Donnacha OBriain,
Ireland 2003, 74 min., English and Spanish with subtitles) In April, 2002, Venezuelas
ruling class, implicitly backed by the U.S., engineered a military coup to overthrow
the populist, democratically elected regime of President Hugo Chavez. Using
blatant misinformation, privately-owned television networks waged a campaign
that called for the uprisings. An independent Irish filmmaking crew happened
to be present to document state power changing hands twice during a tense 48
hour period. You may not see a more gripping, politically important or hopeful
film this year.
FRIDAY, 15 October. 8 p.m.
VALLEY OF TEARS (Hart Perry, US 2003, 83 min.) Perry, the cinematographer of Harlan
County U.S.A., combines his footage of a 1979 Mexican-American onion pickers strike
in Texas with footage from the 1990s, when he revisited the town to cover a
related and controversial school board election. We discover that in the intervening
years the town has become more economically depressed and ethnically divided.
This documentary about a broken community is not afraid to ask hard questions
about the consequences of challenging the system.
FRIDAY, 22 October. 8 p.m.
MAX HAVELAAR (Fons
Rademakers, Netherlands/Indonesia 1976, 170 min., Dutch with English sub-titles)
Max Havelaar, an idealistic Dutch bureaucrat in Java, attempts to reform abuses
of the colonial system and is met with extreme resistance from both Dutch and
local elites. Rademakers brutal portrayal of exploitation and corruption
in the Dutch East Indies is based on an autobiographical novel whose 1860 publication,
like that of UncleToms Cabin, caused a political furor. New 35mm print.
FRIDAY, 29 October. 8 p.m.
THEY LIVE (John Carpenter, US 1988, 97 min.) A
homeless drifter (wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper) discovers a reason
for the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor: a conspiracy by non-human
aliens who have infiltrated American society in the guise of wealthy yuppies.
With the help of special sunglasses that reveal the aliens true faces
and their subliminal messages (marry and reproduce; submit
our hero tries to stop the invasion. Carpenters deliriously imaginative satire
of Reaganomics and the
(greed is good era also has one of the funniest (and longest) fight scenes in
SUNDAY, 1 February. 8 p.m.
LA COMMUNE (PARIS 1871)
(Peter Watkins, France 2001, 345 min., video, French with subtitles) With copious
historical research and hundreds of actors, venerable documentarian and
media critic Watkins created this amazing feature
on the revolutionary Paris Commune of 1871, mixing elaborate reenactments
of the ground-level dramatic events with the anachronistic device of
government TV news reporting. Join us on Super Bowl Sunday for this
exciting alternative event the super bowl of class struggle.
(J. Hoberman of the Village
Voice called this the best film of 2002). Part I will be shown at 1 p.m.; there
will be a one hour intermission at 4 p.m.; Part
II will begin at 5 p.m.
FRIDAY, 26 March. 8 p.m.
Rochester Premiere. ROSETTA (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium 1999, 95
min.) Winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the Dardennes
Son, La Promesse) deliver a fiercely realistic, almost documentary style
study of a poor teenaged girl looking to escape her grim life. When she finds
a job in a waffle stand, Rosetta learns she is not prepared to deal with the
working world. This deeply affecting drama has moved audiences all over the
world and has even influenced child labor laws in Belgium. Sponsored by the
Rochester Labor Council. This program is also made possible with the support
of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of
FRIDAY, 14 May. 8 p.m. Rochester Premiere
MONDAYS IN THE SUN (LOS LUNES AL SOL) (Fernando Leon
de Aranoa, Spain 2002, 113 min., Spanish with subtitles) Javier Bardem
stars in this powerful story about
shipyard workers in northern Spain. Laid off as a result of industrial
restructuring and waterfront gentrification, they try to make ends
meet and struggle to recover identities defined by work.
The third feature by Leon de Aranoa confirms the director as one of Spain's
brightest young talents. The producer of this Best Foreign Film Oscar
nominee is Elias Querejeta, the man
responsible for introducing audiences to Victor Erice and Carlos Saura.
Sponsored by the Rochester Labor Council.
FRIDAY, 30 July. 8 p.m.
MODERN TIMES (Charles Chaplin, US 1936, 87 min.) As
a big city factory worker, the Little Tramp confronts the mechanized
world in what may be Chaplin's finest and funniest film. The perfectly
crafted physical humor has delighted audiences for decades, while
Chaplin's vision of the common man adjusting to a newly industrialized
and urbanized world makes this one of the most thought-provoking motion
pictures of the depression era. Sponsored by the Rochester Labor
Council. Newly restored 35mm print!