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Content

Labor Studies


Labor Studies



COST OF LIVING, THE

Directors: Sean Blacknell, Wayne Walsh

Do we need a Universal Basic Income?

From the filmmaking team of "The Future of Work and Death" comes "The Cost of Living," a documentary that explores the current socio-economic state of Britain and considers how the idea of a basic income could minimize poverty and alleviate the sociological toll of a growing precarious class. The film focuses on the feasibility of a basic income, John Rawls' theory of justice, automation and ultimately asks should there still be a cost attributed to survival?

Featuring George Monbiot, David Graber, Diane Coyle, Guy Standing & Annie Miller


DVD / 2020 / 45 minutes

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EVERY PULSE OF THE HEART IS WORK

By Pawel Wojtasik

Every Pulse of the Heart is Work - is work, but work as understood as devotion.

Five years in the making, the film consists of meditative portraits of a broad range of laborers, such as a crane operator, a surgeon, a weaver, a priest, a masseur, a tabla drum maker, and others. The camera enters into an intimately attentive relation with the subjects and their workplaces: a cremation ground, a hospital, an apartment tower under construction. The streets of the city themselves form an important work site, where much of the activity takes place.

With his attentive, unobtrusive approach to his subjects, Wojtasik simultaneously explores labor as a material process, a state of mind, and an integral component of a larger network of social and economic relations. The work of a dentist is granted the same time and attention as that of a street beggar; both forms of labor take place on the street, where they can be observed both by the filmmakers and the inhabitants of Varanasi as they go about their daily lives. In the end, the singular portraits of Indian workers build towards a composite vision of society, where each has a place in the tangled web of human endeavor.


DVD / 2019 / 86 minutes

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SEADRIFT

Director: Tim Tsai

In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shoots and kills a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, TX. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence and ignites a maelstrom of boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnamese refugee arrival in the U.S., "Seadrift" examines the shooting and its dramatic aftermath, and reveals the unexpected consequences that continue to reverberate today.


DVD (English and Vietnamese with English Subtitles) / 2019 / 69 minutes

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WAGING CHANGE

By Abby Ginzberg

WAGING CHANGE shines a light on an American struggle hidden in plain sight: the movement to end the federal tipped minimum wage for restaurant workers.

Most Americans don't know that the majority of people serving their food get paid a federal sub-minimum wage of only $2.13 an hour and are forced to depend on tips to feed themselves and their families. Women who rely on tips are also particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment. WAGING CHANGE weaves together the stories of workers struggling to make ends meet with the efforts of Saru Jayaraman of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, who faces off against the powerful National Restaurant Association lobby and fights for one fair wage. Featuring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who have mobilized support for the movement, WAGING CHANGE reveals the important role consumers have to play in ending this two-tiered wage system which has already been abolished in seven states.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2019 / 61 minutes

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WINE CRUSH (VAS-Y COUPE!)

Director: Laura Naylor

Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!) is a beautifully observed portrait of seasonal labor at a family-owned vineyard in France.

Every year for the harvest, a motley team of laborers travels from the north of France to the celebrated Selosse vineyard in the Champagne region. Many of them have been picking these grapes for a quarter century and, though the work can be grueling, there is a cherished comfort in the comradery, the lovingly prepared meals and the late-night partying. But as the winemaker begins to hand over the business to his son - and younger workers increasingly join the team - it is unclear if this harvest tradition can endure.

Weaving intimate verite scenes through the whirlwind labor of the harvest, Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!) is an immersive and affectionate look at a revolutionary natural Champagne-maker and his loyal workers, and an exploration of French social class, tradition and community.


DVD (French with English subtitles) / 2019 / 92 minutes

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CORPORATE COUP D'ETAT, THE

Director: Fred Peabody
By Peter Raymont

A democracy should protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable among them, but the United States is increasingly failing to do so. This investigative documentary blends the insights of journalists and policy experts with the experiences of citizens of the Rust Belt, where the steel industry once flourished, but where closures and outsourcing have left it desolate and hopeless: a crisis exacerbated by income inequality and squabbling politicians. It is here that Donald Trump finds some of his most fervent supporters.

Some believe the crisis predates Trump's election by many years: Trump is a symptom, not the disease. They say that decades ago, U.S. democracy began selling its soul to big corporations, whose lobbyists and favored politicians took control in Washington, gradually undermining the will of the people. Naomi Klein recently described Trump's administration as a 'corporate coup d'Etat', but Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and philosopher John Ralston Saul, among others, argue that the real coup started long before.

Threaded through the film are the stories of the ultimate victims: the working class and poor people in 'sacrifice zones' like Camden, New Jersey and Youngstown, Ohio. Many of them voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but in 2016 - feeling abandoned by the elites of both parties - they cast their ballot for the man who promised to "drain the swamp."

Featuring journalists including Chris Hedges, Phillip Martin, Sarah Jaffe, Matt Taibbi and Lee Fang, and thinkers John Ralston Saul and Cornel West.


DVD / 2018 / 90 minutes

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COUNCILWOMAN

By Margo Guernsey

COUNCILWOMAN is the inspiring story of Carmen Castillo, an immigrant Dominican housekeeper in a Providence hotel who wins a seat in City Council, taking her advocacy for low-income workers from the margins to city politics.

The film follows Castillo's first term as she balances her full-time day job as a housekeeper with her family life and the demands of public office. She faces skeptics who say she doesn't have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15 hourly wage, and a tough re-election against two contenders. As Castillo battles personal setbacks and deep-rooted notions of who is qualified to run for political office, she fiercely defends her vision of a society in which all people can earn enough to support themselves and their families.

An eye-opening look at entrenched power in American democracy, COUNCILWOMAN is essential viewing for Latinx, Immigrant, Political Science and Labor Studies courses.


DVD (English, Spanish, Color) / 2018 / 57 minutes

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DON'T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE! STORIES OF ARGENTINE RESISTANCE

Directed by Mark Dworkin, Melissa Young

Looks at the inspirational resistance of Argentinians to the government of Mauricio Macri, whose election preceded Trump's but whose style and policies are eerily similar.

DON'T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE! is at first glance about Argentina, but it is also about the USA. Argentina elected its Trump, Mauricio Macri, a year before we elected ours. The two are quite similar in the tone of their campaigns and the policies they are promoting once in office. But Argentines are resilient, and they have fought right wing governments before.

DON'T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE! looks at the widespread and creative resistance to Macri's policies--in organized labor, at worker co-ops and street protests, in theater and music. The film offers instructive parallels with the situation in the US, while illustrating the power of collective action.


DVD / 2018 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 41 minutes

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DYING FOR GOLD

Directed by Catherine Meyburgh & Richard Pakleppa

Today gold miner communities across Southern Africa have nothing to show for the wealth they produced except extreme rural underdevelopment and the world's worst epidemic of TB and silicosis.

Coerced by colonial laws hundreds of thousands of men left their families and fields to feed the mines hunger for cheap labour. They came from villages in South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana and Swaziland to dig for gold. South Africa was built on a system of modern slavery whereby the great mining houses of Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Goldfields and others have knowingly made phenomenal profits at the cost of human lives.

Through the lives of miners and their families from Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa and extensive use of contrasting archive materials DYING FOR GOLD tells how we have arrived at this extraordinary situation.

After more than a century of this practice, communities have been left devastated. Poverty is overwhelming. Men continue to seek work in South Africa as this has become their only choice. Decades of men not being part of their communities has ensured that communities are broken and unsustainable without their meager salaries. When laid off due to exposure to dust and/or TB, miners further burden their families as their health slowly deteriorates. The personal stories from participants across the sub-continent is visceral, intensely personal and devastating.

DYING FOR GOLD comes in the wake of the biggest class action case South Africa has seen. South Africa's largest gold mining companies have been accused of knowingly exposing miners to harmful dust causing the terminal disease, silicosis and makes them more susceptible to TB. The class action has been settled out of court - which means the real cost of gold will not be known. DYING FOR GOLD exposes the century of deplorable practices by gold mines to ensure that miners and their families are justly compensated. The film also aims to promote discussion on mining - especially profit based harmful practices.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With English Subtitles) / 2018 / 98 minutes

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EVERYTHING MUST FALL

Directed by Rehad Desai
By Jacqueline Jones, Grant Clark, Anita Khanna Zivia Desai Keiper

The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. When Habib's efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1000 police on to campus. There are dire consequences for the young leaders: Mcebo Dlamini is arrested and charged with serious offences, Shaeera Kalla is shot 13 times with rubber-coated bullets; others, fearing the involvement of the state security agencies, are forced into hiding.

At the heart of the film sits an intergenerational conflict connecting us to an important contemporary discourse on the conceptualisation of higher education as a public good. To date there have been unprecedented numbers involved, three deaths and 800 arrests.

By blending dramatic unfolding action with a multi-protagonist narrative, much of the drama lies in the internal struggles the activists have around the weight of leadership. Threaded through the film is a pulse of anticipation, shared across the generational divide, that somehow these youth have reached breaking point and won't back down until they achieve the kind of social transformation that previous generations had long given up on.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2018 / 85 minutes

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INVISIBLE HANDS

Director: Shraysi Tandon

'Invisible Hands' is the first feature documentary to expose child labor and trafficking within the supply chains of the world's biggest companies. It is a harrowing account of children as young as 6 years old making the products we use every day. 'Invisible Hands' marks the directorial debut of journalist Shraysi Tandon and is produced by Oscar winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson.

Participants include Kailash Satyarthi, Nicholas Kristof, Ben Skinner, Siddharth Kara and Mark Barenberg.


DVD / 2018 / 75 minutes

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RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY: SOMETHING DEEPER THAN THE TRUTH

By Maria Isabel Alfonso

A young man in a baseball cap with "MIAMI" emblazoned on the front sits on a curb, looking at his phone. Beside him, an older man looks over his shoulder at the screen. Other Cubans sit on the curb or on the steps behind it, staring at their phones and tablets. In Cuba, a scene like this would have once been unthinkable. But since 2015, the government has loosened the rules on Internet access, allowing citizens to go online with their devices (for a fee) at designated WiFi hotspots.

The spread of online access-and people taking advantage of it for activities like blogging about politics and culture-is one of the signs of a renewed interest in bolstering Cuban civil society. But Cuba faces unique challenges in bolstering citizen engagement.

Near the start of RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY, the film offers a definition of its central theme. "Civil society: The aggregate of non-governmental organizations and individuals that manifest the will and interests of citizens." Then, on the screen, the word "non-governmental" is crossed out. It is a striking visual illustration of Cuba's unique situation-one in which the public sector dominates much of society, playing an ambiguous role in civil society institutions.

Since the mid-1990s, Cuba has seen a rise in independent media, and a resurgence of movements fighting against racism, for economic justice and LGBTQI rights, and for greater democracy and citizen participation. In RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY, Cuban academics, journalists and bloggers, and writers and musicians grapple with what it means to encourage healthy public participation and dissent in the context of Cuba: a country under embargo in which foreign-funded dissidents seek to overthrow the government, and at the same time a country in which the Communist Party has placed itself above the State.

In city parks and apartments, on stairwells, in classrooms, and in magazine offices, the people featured in RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY grapple with these questions. Can more competitive elections and greater democracy exist in a one-party State? How can LGBTQI activists successfully influence government policy? How can access to the benefits of economic reforms allowing private business be extended to marginalized populations? Can the government help encourage a healthy, independent media eco-system? And how much of the stifling of civil society can be blamed on the embargo and how much is simply home-grown?

Thoughtful and engaging, the film is conveniently divided into chapters on class and activism, media, Internet and the blogosphere, political opposition, and Cuban civil society across international borders.


DVD (Spanish, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2018 / 37 minutes

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FINE LINE, A (EDUCATIONAL VERSION)

Directed by Joanna James

Explores why less than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, when traditionally women have always held the central role in the kitchen.

Featuring intimate interviews with world-renowned chefs like Dominique Crenn, Lidia Bastianich, Cat Cora, Elena Arzak, Elizabeth Falkner, Maria Loi, Sylvia Weinstock, Michael Anthony and others, A FINE LINE explores pressing issues faced by women in the culinary arts and across all industries, including sexual and workplace harassment, access to capital, unequal pay, and lack of paid family leave and affordable childcare.

An uplifting American success story about perseverance, family, and food, A FINE LINE follows the personal story of Valerie James, a small town restaurateur with a larger than life personality who raised Joanna as a single mother on a mission to do what she loves while raising two kids and the odds stacked against her.


DVD / 2017 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adults) / 56 minutes

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COMPANY TOWN: THE DARK SIDE OF THE SHARING ECONOMY

Directed by Deborah Kaufman, Alan Snitow

A grassroots movement challenges Citizens United, corporate power, and moguls of the "sharing economy" to stop gentrification and wrest back control of San Francisco's future.

The once free-spirited city of San Francisco is now a "Company Town," a playground for tech moguls of the "sharing economy." Airbnb is the biggest hotel, Uber privatizes transit. And now these companies want political power as well.

Meanwhile, middle class and ethnic communities are driven out by gentrification, skyrocketing rents and evictions, sparking a grassroots backlash. Can an insurgent electoral campaign overcome corporate power and billionaires' megabucks to change a city's course?

COMPANY TOWN shows how a grassroots coalition of unions, tenants, neighborhoods of color, activists and artists can come together to win.


DVD / 2016 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adults) / 77 minutes

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COMPLICIT

Directed by Heather White, Lynn Zhang

Benzene-poisoned, Foxconn factory worker takes his fight against the global smartphone industry from his hospital bed in China to the international stage.

Yi YeTing is struggling with occupational leukemia and trying to obtain compensation from his employer. Wanting to help others, he begins working for a non-profit that assists workers with occupational illness and injuries.

He discovers there are dozens of workers in his local area who were poisoned while making smartphones. Through research in the community, he discovers a leukemia cluster in the neighborhood surrounding Apple's main supplier Foxconn. Yi's research leads him to several workers and their families trying to survive while burdened with their health care costs. Powerful forces are unleashed as he confronts local factories, putting his own safety at risk.


DVD / 2016 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adults) / 89 minutes

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GREAT UNSUNG WOMEN OF COMPUTING: THE COMPUTERS, THE CODERS AND THE FUTURE MAKERS

By Kathy Kleiman, Jon Palfreman and Kate McMahon

In the United States, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields, holding under 25% of STEM jobs and a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees. Great Unsung Women of Computing is a series of three remarkable documentary films that show how women revolutionized the computing and Internet technology we use today, inspiring female students to believe that programming careers lie within their grasp.

The Computers features the extraordinary story of the ENIAC Programmers, six young women who programmed the world's first modern, programmable computer, ENIAC, as part of a secret WWII project. They programmed ENIAC without programming language (for none existed), and harnessed its power to perform advanced military calculations at lighting speeds. However, when the ENIAC was unveiled in 1946, the Programmers were never introduced and they became invisible. This stunning documentary features rare footage and never-before-seen interviews with the ENIAC Programmers. 70 years later, this is their story.

The Coders tells the story of two extraordinary women, Sarah Allen and Pavni Diwanji whose technologies revolutionized the Internet: Sarah co-invented Flash, the first multimedia platform supporting video, graphics, games and animation for the internet, while Pavni invented the Java servlet to allow web applications to respond quickly to requests from users everywhere.

In The Future Makers, Andrea Cola├žo, a young MIT PhD, shares her dream of a world in which we interact with our smart devices using natural hand gestures, not static keyboards or touchpads. She invented 3D "gestural recognition technology" and co-founded 3dim to develop and market it. In 2013, 3dim won MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Prize and launched Andrea towards her dream of innovation and changing the world.


DVD (Color) / 2016 / 48 minutes

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LOVE & SOLIDARITY: JAMES LAWSON & NONVIOLENCE IN THE SEARCH FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS

Directed by Michael Honey

An exploration of nonviolence and organizing through the life and teachings of Rev. James Lawson.

LOVE & SOLIDARITY is an exploration of nonviolence and organizing through the life and teachings of Rev. James Lawson. Lawson provided crucial strategic guidance while working with Martin Luther King, Jr., in southern freedom struggles and the Memphis sanitation strike of 1968. Moving to Los Angeles in 1974, Lawson continued his nonviolence organizing in multi-racial community and worker coalitions that have helped to remake the LA labor movement.

Through interviews and historical documents, acclaimed labor and civil rights historian Michael Honey and award-winning filmmaker Errol Webber put Lawson's discourse on nonviolent direct action on the front burner of today's struggles against economic inequality, racism and violence, and for human rights, peace, and economic justice.


DVD / 2016 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adults) / 38 minutes

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WECONOMICS: ITALY

Directed by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin

Weconomics: Italy reports on the extensive and innovative cooperative economy in the region around Bologna.

The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.


DVD / 2016 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 19 minutes

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BEHEMOTH

By Zhao Liang

Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang's extraordinary, visionary new film Behemoth details, in one breathtaking sequence after another, the social and environmental devastation behind an economic miracle that may yet prove illusory.

Drawing inspiration from The Divine Comedy, Zhao offers intoxicating and terrifying images of the ravages wrought by his country's coal and iron industries on both the land and its people. Beautiful grasslands covered in soot and dust. Mountains shredded in half. Herdsmen and their families forced to leave their lands, to escape poisonous air. Miners descending deeper into pitch black mine shafts. Scorching ironworks that resemble hellish infernos. And in hospitals, ill-equipped to handle the deluge, workers suffering critical illnesses.

Building upon his previous acclaimed exposes (2009's Petition, 2007's Crime and Punishment), Zhao combines muck-racking journalistic techniques with stunning visuals to capture an unfolding nightmare. It's a film replete with haunting imagery. But none more so than Zhao's tour through a barren metropolis, a gleaming, newly constructed city, intended as a workers' paradise, that now stands empty, desolate of life; waiting, perhaps, for that economic miracle.


DVD / 2015 / 90 minutes

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DAUGHTERS OF ANATOLIA

By Hale Sofia Schatz

A stunningly beautiful and captivating documentary, Daughters of Anatolia follows a family of nomadic goat herders as they and their animals travel an ancient seasonal migration route - a centuries-old tradition and form of livelihood that is coming under increasing pressure from the outside world.

For a thousand years, the Gok family have been following the same migration route, from the temperate winters along the Mediterranean Sea to the cool summers in the Taurus Mountains, and back again. It is a route their ancestors pursued in order to provide forage for the animals through the year, and it is still of vital importance.

The family relies entirely on their 350 goats for their sustenance and livelihood: They make, eat and sell cheese and yogurt from the milk. They shear, spin, weave, and sell goat wool. They butcher the animals for their own meat consumption. In recent years, these traditional nomadic routes have been impacted by land and water use restrictions that increasingly have made it difficult for them to follow their way of life.

Since 2011, Producer/Director Hale Sofia Schatz has lived and traveled with this family. Her images, capturing both the hardships of such a life as well as the intimate moments universal to any family unit, are breathtaking. Schatz has taken a portrait of a single family and expanded it, offering a window not only on their world, but ours as well, both in the midst of upheaval.


DVD / 2015 / 56 minutes

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DEATH BY DESIGN

Directed by Sue Williams

Debunks the notion that electronics is a 'clean' industry by revealing the human and environmental cost of electronic gadgets that are designed to die.

Consumers love - and live on - their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone.

But this revolution has a dark side that the electronics industry doesn't want you to see.

In an investigation that spans the globe, award-winning filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the international electronics industry and reveals how even the tiniest devices have deadly environmental and health costs.

DEATH BY DESIGN tells the stories of young Chinese workers laboring in unsafe conditions, American families living with the tragic consequences of the industry's toxic practices, activists leading the charge to hold brands accountable, and passionate entrepreneurs who are developing more sustainable products and practices to safeguard our planet and our future.

From the intensely secretive electronics factories in China, to the high tech innovation labs of Silicon Valley, DEATH BY DESIGN tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast-approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.


DVD / 2015 / (Grades 7-9, College, Adults) / 73 minutes

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TRUE COST, THE

Directed by Andrew Morgan

Groundbreaking investigation of fast fashion reveals that while the price of clothing has been decreasing for decades the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically.

This is a story about clothing. It's about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. THE TRUE COST is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world's leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, Vandana Shiva and Richard Wolff, THE TRUE COST is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.


DVD / 2015 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 92 minutes

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ENEMY WITHIN, THE

Directed by Owen Gower

The story of Britain's longest strike, the 1984-85 miners' strike, when Margaret Thatcher declared war on the unions, as told by those who lived through it.

THE ENEMY WITHIN provides unique insight into one of the most dramatic events in British history: the 1984-85 Miners' Strike. No experts. No politicians. Thirty years on, this is the raw first-hand experience of those who lived through Britain's longest strike. Follow the highs and lows of that life-changing year.

In 1984, a Conservative government under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared war on Britain's unions, taking on the strongest in the country, the National Union of Mineworkers. Following a secret plan, the government began announcing the closure of coal mines, threatening not just an industry but whole communities and a way of life.

Against all the forces the government could throw at them, 160,000 coal miners took up the fight. THE ENEMY WITHIN tells the story of a group of miners and supporters who were on the frontline of that strike for an entire year. These were people that Margaret Thatcher labelled "the enemy within".

Using interviews and a wealth of rare and never before seen archival footage, THE ENEMY WITHIN draws together personal experiences - whether they're tragic, funny or terrifying - to take the audience on an emotionally powerful journey through the dramatic events of that year.


DVD / 2014 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 112 minutes

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HAND THAT FEEDS, THE

Directed by Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick

Shy sandwich-maker Mahoma Lopez unites his undocumented immigrant coworkers to fight abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain.

At a popular bakery cafe, residents of New York's Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma Lopez has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.

Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in back rooms, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his coworkers will never be exploited again.


DVD / 2014 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 84 minutes

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DETROPIA

Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

A vivid portrait of Detroit, America's first major post-industrial city, as it struggles to deal with the consequences of a broken economic system.

Detroit's story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century...the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos.

With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.


DVD / 2012 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 86 minutes

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SHIFT CHANGE

Directed by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin

Investigates employee-owned businesses that provide secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces even in today's economic crisis.

Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today's economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.

With the long decline in US manufacturing and today's economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.

There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.

Amongst the organizations featured in SHIFT CHANGE are:

Mondragon Cooperative Corporation - Begun in the 1950s, the Mondragon co-ops have transformed a depressed area of Spain into one of the most productive in Europe with a high standard of living and an egalitarian way of life. They are owned and managed by their workers. Seeing the achievements of the MCC helps to overcome the idea-widespread in North America-that worker run cooperatives can only exist on the economic fringe.

The Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, OH - This is an ambitious urban redevelopment model, directly inspired by Mondragon, where local institutions and public officials are supporting green cooperatives of previously marginalized, predominantly African American workers, who provide commercial laundry services, install solar energy systems, and grow vegetables in vast urban greenhouses.

Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, San Francisco, California - Started 30 years ago, there are now six of these independent worker owned and managed cooperative bakeries that work together to provide the financial and legal services they need, and to incubate new coop bakeries.

Equal Exchange, Boston MA: Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange is one of the largest roasters of fair trade coffee in the world.


DVD / 2012 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 69 minutes

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LIFE AND TIMES OF ROSIE THE RIVETER, THE

Remastered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The U.S. entry into World War II created an unprecedented demand for new workers. Notions of what was proper work for women changed overnight. Thousands of posters and billboards appeared calling on women to "Do the Job He Left Behind." Rosie the Riveter was born -- the symbol of working women during World War II. Women found themselves doing "men's work" and they did it so well that production levels rose despite the military call-up of millions of male workers. When the war was over, Rosie wanted to stay. But neither the structure of the American economy nor the dominant view of women's place in society sustained such hopes.


DVD (Closed Captioned) / 65 minutes

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