GRAND PRIX Melbourne International Film Festival (1966)
This documentary, sponsored by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, chronicles the history of the garment workers from 1900 to 1964. Opening with the flood of immigrants that poured through Ellis Island in the early 1900s, the film goes on to unveil dim Lower East Side sweatshops, coal mines and textile mills filled with children, the battlefields of World War I, and the anxious years of the Depression. In this setting we see the immigrants struggle to become part of their new country and labor's brutal battle to organize into a united movement during the 1930s.
Actual footage of the Memorial Day Massacre at Republic Steel brings the power of authenticity to these scenes. The film moves through World War II and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as each generation fights to preserve and expand its freedom.
"Director Harold Mayer uses old photos and newsreel footage combined with more recent film to tell of the history of the union. Folks songs are included in the film to explain the political and historical changes of the union. The film depicts management unfavorably and does not gloss over the violence that occurred during labor strikes. Of course, no mention is made about any "alleged" ties between the industry and organized crime."
-Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide
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Classroom/Library Use DVD: $100
Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information
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USA, 1964, 58 minutes, B&W
Directed by Harold Mayer
Public Exhibition Formats: DVD