Home Welcome 2016 Schedule About LaborFest Endorsers Contact Us




FilmWorks United (2016)


July 5 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Donation) 518 Valencia - near 16th St., SF
The Factory
(132 min.) (2015) (India) Directed by: Rahul Roy
The struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers in India is the focus of this important documentary about autoworkers. Suzuki, a Japanese based multi-national, decided to expand into India with a car assembly plant. The factory was located about 30 miles from New Delhi.
The film shows that Suzuki was intent on exploiting workers to the max and colluded with the government to set up a company union. The autos come off the assembly line every 50 seconds and workers face a brutal pace. Breaks are limited to only a 7-minute break in the morning and afternoon and 30 minutes for lunch. This excludes the time it takes to go to the canteen. Additionally half the workers are contract workers who are not entitled to healthcare or uniforms. A single absence means a 25% reduction in pay and a two-day absence a 50% cut.
After organizing an independent union called Maruti Suzuki Employees Union, the company created an incident on July 18, 2012 in which a pro-union manager was killed in the factory and the factory ended up on fire. They then changed 148 workers with murder and arson. They also, with the support of the courts and the government, fire 2500 workers who were supporters of the union.
The brutality that these auto workers faced is not unique. In Bogotá, Colombia, injured workers have been encamped outside the US consulate for more than 4 years to get justice and compensation for their injuries. These multi-national companies, like Suzuki, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and GM, have one goal and that is the increased exploitation of their workforce for greater profits. The struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers to free their jailed comrades and also get justice in their fight with this company still continues.
This film gives an up close view of what workers face in India and around the world.

July 6 (Wednesday) 6:30 PM (Free) Berkeley City Collage Auditorium - 2050 Center St., Berkeley
The Hand That Feeds (88 min.) (2014) Directed by: Rachel Lears & Robin Blotnick
At a popular bakery café, 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 López 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. Discussion to follow. Sponsored by Global Studies Program.
Contact info:

July 6 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Donation) 518 Valencia- near 16th St., SF
We Don’t Like Samba
(40 min.) (2014) (Brazil) Directed by: Cis Berlin
This film exposes the growing class divisions in Brazil and how the movement against fare increases led to a mass revolt. It also looks at the corruption of the government.
Sanitation workers, teachers and transportation workers discuss the fight with the community against the wealthy and also how the World Soccer Tournament and the Olympics are used to benefit big contractors while ignoring the need of the working class and poor. This documentary exposes the growing divide and the massive confrontation that is now taking place in Brazil.

Limpiadores (39 min.) (2015) (UK) Directed by: Fernando González Mitjáns
The life and struggles of the invisible migrant workers that make sure offices and classrooms are clean and tidy before professors and students arrive for their morning classes at some of London’s most prestigious universities. It shows the Unison union and how their struggle for justice, human and labor rights gets wide support.


July 8 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Donation) 518 Valencia - near 16th St., SF
The Mine Wars
(120 min.) (2016) Directed by: Randall MacLowry
The largest labor rebellion since the US civil war is the focus of this powerful documentary.
This documentary examines the lives and conditions of miners in West Virginia and their effort to organize. It also included Mother Jones who supported their early organizing efforts. Following the First World War the miners who had supported the war thought they would get rewarded with better conditions, pay, and benefits. Instead, the mine owners mobilized to crush their union and struggle for good labor conditions.
The miners decided to organize after the assassination on August 1, 1921 of Sid Hatfield, the pro-union chief of police, by mine guards in broad daylight. Over 10,000 miners decided to arm and free their fellow union members who had been jailed in mass repression of miner organizers and workers. This followed the 1920 Matewan massacre in Mingo County where Hatfield had resisted the mine owner thugs and 7 were killed along with the mayor.
This important film shows that far from supporting the miners, the US government mobilized the army to attack the miners, even dropping bombs on them from US bi-planes. This battle on Blair Mountain is one of the most important labor battles in US history.

July 8 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Donation) San Jose Peace & Justice Center - 48 S. 7th St., San Jose
Blue Elephants
(14 min.) (2010) Directed by: Moritz Siebert
This film documents the every day lives of Indonesian and Nepali migrant workers who work for Malaysian contract manufacturers that produce goods for some of the world’s best-known brands. One-third of migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry are trapped in forced labor, a form of modern-day slavery, according to new research by Verité, an NGO working on supply chain accountability. Verité found that forced labor is present in the supply chains of a wide cross-section of household electronics brands, which use Malaysian factories to produce billions of pounds worth of goods every year.

Driving for Hire (1h. 25 min.) (2015) Directed by: John Han
This documentary made by SF cab driver John Han is a deep dive into the multiplicity of issues that have surrounded the contentious battle in California (and much of the rest of the world) between the cab industry and ride-service firms Uber and Lyft over the past several years: insurance, wages, wheelchair access and something that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention — the environmental cost of putting all those extra vehicles on the road.
The producer John Han will speak during Q and A.


July 13 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St., next to AT&T Ball Park
Sorry! Because of power outage, this film showing was canceled.
We will try to reschedule in the near future.

(100 min.) (2011) (Turkey) Directed by: Sedat Yilmaz
This is a drama about the struggle of Kurdish journalists to produce their newspaper Özgür Gündem. Under severe repression and intimidation, getting out a newspaper is a deadly danger. The story centers around the Kurdish journalists in Diyarbak?r, the largest Kurdish city in Turkey.
Özgür Gündem is under siege. After exposing human rights abuses in the city of Diyarbak?r, the journalists of Özgür Gündem become the target of increasingly ruthless government-sanctioned intimidation. Press tells the story of the Özgür Gündem offices and Kurdish journalists in Diyarbak?r.


The Lost Signal of Democracy (65 min.) (2014) (Greece) Directed by: Yorgos Avgeropoulos
This film recounts the autocratic shutdown on June 11, 2013 of the Greek ERT public broadcast system by the rightwing government of former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. The government said it cost too much to operate and they needed to trim expenses. The workers and their union resisted and organized the first occupation of a national public broadcasting system.
This blatant mass censorship brought a tremendous backlash from the people of Greece as well as outrage around the world.
This film shows the occupation from the inside by the media workers themselves. These workers and the Greek working class refused to accept the closure of their public broadcasting system. The struggle still continues in Greece as workers continue to fight massive austerity and privatization.

July 14 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Donation) San Jose Peace & Justice Center - 48 S. 7th St., San Jose
The Factory
(132 min.) (2015) (India) Directed by: Rahul Roy
The Factory revisits one of the most contentious cases of industrial unrest in recent history: the face-off between workers and the management of the Maruti Suzuki automobile factory in Manesar, India.
Click here to check more detail of this film on July 5.

July 16 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU 34 Hall - 801 2nd St., next to AT&T Ball Park
Still The Enemy Within
(112 min.) (2015) (UK) Directed by: Owen Gower
The struggle of the 1984-85 British Miners’ Strike against the union busting Thatcher government was a watershed in the British labor movement. This film through the voices of the miners and their families brings this struggle to life and shows how the capitalist government mobilized tens of thousands of police to physically break the strike. It also shows how Thatcher used the media to whip up hysteria against the National Union of Miners president Arthur Scargill who was vilified in a massive media propaganda campaign. The defeat of the strike not only destroyed the nationalized mine industry but also allowed and encouraged the privatization of all public services and education in the UK. It has lessons today in the struggle against privatization.

July 20 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park
Freeway Flyer
(45 min.) (2014) (USA) Directed by: Brad Rettele
More and more professors in the United States have been forced to become temporary workers going from job to job, in many cases without seniority or healthcare. This documentary focuses on the lives of these adjunct professors who are known as “Freeway Flyers”.
The privatization and deregulation of education has made it profitable for even public colleges and universities to make the majority of faculty temporary. This shows the lives of these workers.

UDITA (Arise) (75 min.) (2015) (Bangladesh) Directed by: Rainbow Collective
Bangladesh workers are rising up and this film shows the growing strength of workers and the trade union National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) . The documentary follows a turbulent half decade in the lives of women on the front line in the garment workers struggle: from 2010, when organising in the workplace would lead to beatings, sacking and arrests, through the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza, and to the present day, when the long fight has begun to pay dividends. We see this vital period through the eyes of the union’s female members, workers and leaders.

July 22 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Donation) San Jose Peace & Justice Center - 48 S. 7th St., San Jose
(39 min.) (2015) (UK) Directed by: Fernando González Mitjáns
Click here to check detail on this film.

Claiming Our Voice (21 min.) (2013) (USA) Directed by: Jennifer Pritheeva
This film shares the stories of Andolan, an organization founded and led by immigrant women low-wage workers as a means to support each other and collectively organize against exploitative work conditions. The film follows the women as they create, rehearse and refine acts for their first popular multi-lingual theater performance. Claiming Our Voice seeks to break community silence by allowing women to (literally) set the stage for how their stories will be told.


July 29 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Donation) San Jose Peace & Justice Center - 48 S. 7th St., San Jose
Operation Bootstrap
(60 min.) (1983) (Puerto Rico) Directed by: Pedro Angel Rivera & Susan Zeig
Operation Bootstrap by Pedro Angel Rivera and Susan Zeig exposes the first “free trade” zone set up by the US in Puerto Rico. It was advertised as helping the people of Puerto Rico, but in fact, it has ended up putting them in further poverty and deprivation. This FTZ was replicated around the world. Today the US government and Congress are imposing draconian attacks on the working class to pay off vulture capitalists who have speculated on Puerto Rican bonds. The US has also forced the privatization of their health system and utilities, and is now pushing for the privatization of their education system.

July 30 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU 34 Hall - 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park
Goodwin’s Way
(55 min.) (2016) (Canada) Directed by: Neil Vokey
The interconnection between working class history and our struggles today are the focus of this interesting documentary from British Colombia.
Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin was a militant unionist and internationalist who emigrated from England to B.C. Canada. He became a union activist fighting to organize and defend the miners of Cumberland, whose union worked massive mines and led the fight for an 8-hour day in the middle of the First World War. He was also an organizer of the bitter 1912-14 Vancouver Island Coal Miners’ Strike and became a leader of the BC’s early labor movement.
Because of his activism and leadership he was murdered by the police under suspicious circumstances. Vancouver workers, in protest of his murder, voted to ‘down tools’ and the result was the first general strike in Canadian history, and out of it, a folk hero was born.
Today the mine owners want to develop another underground mine and the community is rising up against more coalmines. The film connects the struggle of Goodwin with the present efforts to stop the development of a new underground mine, which will further harm the environment and the community.
The history of Goodwin and his struggle for labor and community rights is directly connected to the struggle of workers and the people today.

They Live(94 min.) (1988) (USA) Directed by: John Carpenter
The madness of capitalism is the focus of this science fiction horror film made in the ‘80s. A pair of sunglasses are discovered by a semi-homeless day laborer named Nada (Spanish for “nothing”) that allow him to identify the extraterrestrials who have infiltrated the Earth’s populace. You can see the culprits and aliens behind this growing madness, and some try to end the nightmare. As working people look at the growing economic crisis, brutality of the system and a dystopian world, some rise up and seek to end the nightmare. With these sunglasses they are able to fightback against this nightmare. This ‘80s cult classic is more relevant to the lives of working people today than when it was made.