2012 Labor Film Series
All films shown at the Eastman House Dryden Theater, 900 East Avenue.
Download a printable version of the schedule
Friday, September 7 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
TRASH DANCE (Andrew Garrison, US 2012, 65 min.) Garrison’s camera follows Austin (TX) choreographer Allison Orr as she observes and learns the work of trash collectors and then collaborates with them to turn the rhythms of their jobs into a dazzling dance routine. The culminating live performance of workers and their vehicles, presented on an airport runway before thousands ofspectators, is not to be missed. While we have all seen trash collectors on our streets, this imaginative choreographer enables us to recognize the skill and dignity of these workers.
Friday, September 14 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
THE LIPS (LOS LABIOS) (Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza, Argentina 2010, 100 min., Spanish with subtitles) Blurring the line between docu- mentary and fiction, The Lips tells the story of three women health promoters as they provide services to impoverished rural communities in Argentina. Filmed with great candor, the story of these women unfolds as they contend with isolation, dilapidated shelter and inadequate medical supplies while addressing the health problems of their patients.
Friday, September 21 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
DOWNEAST (David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, US 2012, 80 min.) Shedding light on the hardships faced today by both small businesses and the workers they employ, Downeast documents an entrepreneur’s struggle with Boston banks and a town selectman as he opens a lobster processing plant in Gouldsboro, Maine. His efforts to re-hire laid off workers and revive a community’s economy are supported by townspeople but challenged by local business interests.
Friday, September 28 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
COMPLIANCE (Craig Zobel, US 2012, 90 min.) A disturbing true story that recently took place in a fast food restaurant comes to life in this controversial new film by Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound, 2007). Sandra, convinced that the police have identified one of her employees, passes on orders from a commanding voice on the telephone. The 1961 Milgram experiment on obedience to authority comes to mind as the film forces us to consider social control in the workplace. What does it take for workers to question authority?
Friday, October 5 8 p.m.
SHE MARRIED HER BOSS (Gregory LaCava, US 1935, 85 min.) Julia, (Claudet Colbert) secretly loves her wealthy department-store boss, Richard (Melvyn Douglas), and dreams of marrying him. Her dream comes true, but Richard’s business demands and his bratty daughter and classist sister strain the marriage. This light-hearted film is among the earliest depictions of the hurdles talented women workers face when trying to combine a meaningful family life with a successful career.
Friday, October 12 8 p.m.
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT (QIAN CHUI BAI LIAN) — Rochester Premiere (Yung Chang, Canada/China 2012, 94 min., Mandarin with subtitles) Banned in China under Mao Zedong but sanctioned in 1989, boxing is becoming a means of upward mobilty for rural boys and girls. Chang (Up the Yangtze, 2007) follows a boxing coach and several of his proteges, focusing on one who leaves the family tobacco farm against his mother’s wishes. "Don’t train hard, or you’ll be back home farming," the coach warns. Chang records the work of the coach, his students and his own training for a comeback.
Friday, October 19 8 p.m.
THE CLASS (ENTRE LES MURS) (Laurent Cantet, France 2008, 128 min, French with subtitles) Francois Marin, a secondary teacher in Paris, copes with students of immigrant families from North Africa. Cantet (Human Resources, 1999; Time Out, 2001; Heading South, 2005) explores issues of race, class and authority in the context of education as social control. It also reveals the dynamics of collegiality within the school. The Class won the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Friday, October 26 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
WHORES’ GLORY (Michael Glawogger, Germany/Austria 2011, 110 min.; German, French, English, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, Bengali with subtitles) Following his extraordinary documentary on the hardships of manual labor (Workingman’s Death, 2004), Glawogger turned his attention to sex work, documenting with unprecedented intimacy prostitution in distinct cultural and class contexts of Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico. The resulting triptych, he notes, “looks at working girls and tries to understand how it feels to do this kind of work, day by day.”