2007 Fall Labor Film Series
All films shown at the Eastman House Dryden Theater, 900 East Avenue
Friday, September 7, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
SACCO AND VANZETTI (Peter Miller, US 2006, 80 min.)
Howard Zinn, Arlo Guthrie, and Studs Terkel provide contemporary
interviews for this new documentary about the two Italian
immigrants and anarchists — Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco — who
were accused of murder and ultimately executed in Boston in 1927.
Their landmark case, which still resonates today, created an international
outcry of injustice and brought attention to the plight of immigrants
Friday, September 14, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
Sunday, September 16, 4:30 p.m.
THE METHOD (EL MÉTODO) (Marcelo Piñeyro, Spain 2005,
115 min., Spanish with subtitles) Several candidates for a high-level executive position in Madrid are
put through a nasty final selection process that utilizes a mysterious
human resources strategy from the U.S. known as the Grönholm Method.
The applicants soon find themselves in a contest that elicits fear,
suspicion, paranoia, and betrayal. This suspenseful and witty cinematic
adaptation of a successful play by Spanish writer Jordi Galcerán Ferrer
exposes the dark side of corporate life.
Friday, September 21, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 23, 7.00 p.m.
THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA (Tommy Lee Jones, US 2005, 121 min.) Ranch hand Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) kidnaps border patrol officer
Mike (Barry Pepper) who accidentally shot and killed Pete’s best buddy,
illegal immigrant Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cedillo). Then Pete and Mike
set out on a harrowing horseback journey to return Mel’s rapidly decaying
body to his family in Mexico. Part horror movie and part classic western,
The Three Burials’ brilliant script is by Guillermo Arriaga, author of Amores
Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel. Stylistically breathtaking, Jones’ feature
directorial debut is one of the best American films of the current decade.
Friday, September 28, 8:00 p.m.
THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (Sam Wood, US 1941, 92 min.) Looking to bust up union activity at his department store, wealthy tycoon
J.P. Merrick (Charles Coburn) goes undercover as a shoe salesman in order
to identify the organizers. Soon though, he’s caught up in the lives of his
employees, including union ringleader Mary Jones (the delightful Jean
Arthur), and Merrick forgets his original purpose — until his two identities
collide. This hilarious farce will be shown in a recently
restored 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Friday, October 5, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premieres
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? (Ken Loach, UK 1984, 56 min.) Made for British television, but withdrawn before it could
be broadcast, Loach’s powerful, polemic documentary takes a close look at the
momentous UK coal miners’ strike of 1984-1985.
CARRY ON KEN (Toby Reisz, UK 2006, 40 min., Digital projection)
The life and work of Ken Loach, cinema’s greatest champion of the working class,
is explored through up close and personal footage, as well as interviews with his
Wednesday, October 10, 6:00 p.m.
CATHY COME HOME (UK 1966, 75 min.)
The story of a young woman (Carol White) who is left homeless by the bureaucratic British welfare system,
this powerful drama launched Loach’s career in features and forced changes in UK public policy.
IT’S A FREE WORLD — U.S. Premiere
(UK 2007, 96 min.) When the sexy and brash Angie (Kierston Wareing in an engaging performance) is laid off from her job in London, she partners with her best pal Rose (Juliet Ellis) to start their own recruiting agency. Angie and Rose are at first able to succeed because of the large number of Eastern European immigrants who provide a cheap, and legal, labor pool for England, but soon it becomes necessary for the two partners to begin recruiting illegal immigrants. Loach’s first feature since The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a funny, dramatic, and incisive look at personal ambition and social ethics.
Friday, October 12, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
Ian Ruskin in person!
FROM WHARF RATS TO LORDS OF THE DOCKS (Haskell Wexler, US 2006, 90 min.)
Writer Ian Ruskin stars in a wonderful one-man show about the life of Harry
Bridges, an Australian native who became one of the most influential and
outspoken American labor leaders of the 20th Century. The ever quotable
Bridges helped form the West Coast’s International Longshore and Warehouse
Union, which he ran while constantly fighting government harassment. Ruskin
will discuss his work and answer audience questions afterthe screening. Wharf Rats will be preceded by INDONESIA CALLING
(Joris Ivens, Australia 1946, 22 min.), a moving documentary about Australian
dockworkers’ support of Indonesian resistance to Dutch neo-colonialism in the years following
World War II, preserved by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive.
Friday, October 19, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
Sunday, October 21, 5:00 p.m.
9 STAR HOTEL (MALON 9 KOCHAVIM) (Ido Haar, Israel 2007,
78 min., Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles) Thousands of Palestinians have illegally crossed borders into neighboring Israel,
seeking work as day laborers in construction. Director Haar follows his subjects
closely as a group of nomadic young men flee from police, risk their lives, and
sleep in hovels in order to build luxury housing by day. 9
Star Hotel is a
devastating documentary portrait of young men caught in an economic and
political maelstrom not of their own making — their dreams
subsumed by the hard reality of day-to-day survival.
Friday, October 26, 8:00 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
Sunday, October 28, 4:30 p.m.
Craig Zobel and Pat Healy in person!
GREAT WORLD OF SOUND (Craig Zobel, US 2007, 106 min.) Acclaimed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this unique
American indie plays like a mix of Glengarry Glen Ross
and American Idol. A close-up look at the practice of ‘song
the story focuses on pensive Martin (Pat Healy) and garrulous
Clarence (Kene Holliday), salesmen recruited by a shady
record label to seek out new talent‚ and
sell phony recording deals. At first oblivious to the
scam, the duo soon realize they’re being conned just like
the musicians. “Its sense of place,
of lonely hotel rooms and fly-by-night offices decorated
with spray-painted gold records, is as nicely observed
as its morally compromised characters.” (Manohla Dargis, The
New York Times). Co-writer and director Craig Zobel and
actor Pat Healy will answer questions following the screening.
February 2, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 3, 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 4, 7 p.m.
BLACK GOLD (Mark & Nick
Francis, UK 2006, 78 min., Beta-SP projection). This eye-opening new documentary may cause you tothink twice
before your next trip to Starbucks. By contrasting thriving coffee
shops in Europe and North America against devastatingly poor coffee
farms in Ethiopia, the filmmakers shed light on the unfair trade
and labor practices that have kept Africa mired in poverty for solong.
central figure is Tadesse Meskela, manager of a farmers’ cooperative.
He travels the world trying to negotiate fair prices
for his members and explain to Westerners that most of their coffee
dollar is going into the pockets of commodities traders and multi-national
Friday, March 23, 8 p.m. — Rochester Premiere
MAN PUSH CART (Ramin Bahrani,
US 2006, 87 min., 35mm). A former Pakistani rock star Ahmad (Ahmad
Razvi) spends his days selling coffee and doughnuts
from a cart that he pushes and pulls through
Manhattan streets. We follow Ahmad as he works endless, physically
grueling hours, reflects on his estrangedfamily, and befriends a
young Spanish woman (Leticia Dolera) who works
at a newsstand. His travail — its
repetition and futility — transfigure Ahmed as a Sisyphus
in the global economy.
Friday, June 8, 8 p.m.
The Left Side of the Fridge (La Moité Gauche
Du Frigo) (Philippe Falardeau, Canada 2000, 90 min.,
French with subtitles, 35mm). Winner of the Best First Feature Film at the Toronto
Film Festival, this delightful pseudo-documentary
follows Montreal resident Christophe (Paul Ahmarani)
as he searches for a meaningful job while trying
to collect unemployment benefits denied to him
on a technicality. Meanwhile, his filmmaker roommate
receives more and more funds to complete the
documentary project that details Christophe’s increasingly desperate situation.
Funny and ironic, writer and director Falardeau artfully, cleverly,
and sometimes painfully illustrates how losing a
job can mean losing your social identity.
Friday, August 10, 8:00 pm
Sacco and Vanzetti (Giuliano Montaldo, Italy/France
1971, 120 min. English and Italian with subtitles). Based on the true story of one of the most notorious
trials in American judicial history, this film
follows two Italian immigrants, admitted anarchists, through their
trial, conviction, and subsequent execution. With Gian Maria Volonte,
Riccardo Cucciolla, and Cyril Cusack. Score by Ennio Morricome, the “Ballad of Sacco
and Vanzetti” written and sung by Joan Baez.