Films — London Labour Film Festival

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THURSDAY

17:00 Havana Club Dinks Reception

Silkwood
Dir. Mike Nichols/USA/1983/128 min Thursday 22 September 17:30
A cinematic classic Silkwood is based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a union activist for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers in a Kerr-McGee plutonium-processing plant. Guilty of dangerous, cancer-inducing contamination, Silkwood’s activism was seen as a sign of trouble. Believing that the company was tampering records, Silkwood was on the way to meet the New York Times, only for her car to mysteriously crash, and for the evidence to disappear. A breathtaking combination of drama and message, with a towering performance from Meryl Streep, who captures the spirit of a woman who’s death helped ensure the passage of important safety legislation; a heroine for the nuclear age.

Post-screening Q&A with Catherine Garrick union activist from Hinckley Point nuclear plant & Jim Mowatt industrial negotiator nuclear industry

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Where to Invade Next
Dir. Michael Moore/USA/2015/120 mins Thursday 22 September 20:30
Having spent 25 years making films defending ordinary people, Moore is now one of the 100 most influential people alive according to Time Magazine. Moore now follows up Capitalism: A Love Story with Where to Invade Next, in which the formidable filmmaker tours the world to investigate what the USA could learn from other countries. Discovering that Italian workers get paid holidays and parental leave; Finland’s students have no homework; Slovenians don’t pay for university; and that Tunisian women have access to abortion, he also goes to Iceland, where women hold top governmental positions whilst (mostly male) bankers are prosecuted, in a brilliant film about people before profit.

Post-screen Q&A with award-winning journalist Owen Jones, MP Catherine West & MEP (London) Lucy Anderson

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FRIDAY

17:00 Join us for a pisco sour at our Chilean inspired drinks reception

Mining Poems or Odes Dir. Callum Rice/UK/20/11 min Friday 23 September 17:15
Robert Fullerton is a force. Welder turned poet or poet turned welder? It doesn’t much matter in this evocation of his life and philosophy, and the forces that helped make him a mesmerising artist. “There she sits, majestic / He stands by engineering” begins his first poem, as he reminisces about being a 17-year old apprentice in Glasgow’s shipyards. Self-educated, and proud of listening to his mentor Archie (“a big voice”), who commanded him to read Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which, like Das Kapital, tells how workers “gift” the profits of their labor to capitalists. A film about work and poetry.

The 33 Dir. Patricia Riggen/Chile-USA/2015/127 min Friday 23 September 17:30
The extraordinary story of the miners trapped for 69 days in Chile’s Copiapo gold-copper mine is of a place where mining began in 1889, but which now requires work 2300 feet underground. With cracks destroying the tunnels, the ‘rock’ that trapped the 33 was twice the size of the Empire State Building. Reaching a pre-built shelter, and discovering that there was no first aid kit, intercom, adequate water supply or escape route, they were given less than a 1% chance to live. Led by stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, The 33 is about an exploited working class community, cooperating, rationing and praying for survival.
Post-screening Q&A (tbc)

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Operator Dir: Carolyn Bartlett-/UK/6 minutes Friday 23 September 20:15
Carolyn Bartlett’s film zeroes in on the face of one Fire and Rescue Service centre operator (Kate Dickie), helping a distraught woman calling in a fire trapping her and her daughter. Calmly directing the woman around the room, getting her to open a window, spread a duvet under the door, and keeping her from going off the rails, the operator’s voice is one we all hope we never have to hear. But it’s important to know she’s out there, sponsored, like the film, by the Fire Brigades Union, “the professional voice of your fire fighters.” Based on true events, this incredibly powerful film recently won a BAFTA.
Introduced by Dave Green FBU

Girlhood
Dir. Céline Sciamma/France/2014/113 min Friday 23 September 20:30
A film to make you laugh, cry, and despair in equal measure, the latest masterpiece from Céline Sciamma (Tomboy) is one of the most powerful films in years on the subject of youth. Following Marieme, a young woman being denied educational opportunities by the French school system, she starts to embrace life when she meets a trio of fellow French African girls her own age. Enjoying a tearaway lifestyle of fighting, partying and carefree abandon (their dancing to Rihanna’s Diamonds in a hotel room has to be one of the most joyous scenes ever committed to film), the tough choices necessitated by a life on the economic margins still aren’t far away. Soon Marieme is leading a very different existence, and faces going down a dangerous road. But she is always willing to take control of her own life, in this brilliant portrait of marginalised people, friendship and agency. A treat of a film, that will both warm your heart and open your eyes.

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SATURDAY

The Judgement Dir. Stephan Komandarev/Bulgaria/2014/107 min Saturday 24 September 17:30
The waves of migrants or refugees being smuggled across our borders are now daily news. But how do these people make it to Europe through often hostile and unforgiving terrain? Whilst many refugee stories are told, we know less about the people who actually do the smuggling. This Bulgarian entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar follows Mityo who, having lost his wife, job and the respect of his son, takes up a job smuggling Syrian refugees across the very Bulgarian/Turkish/Greek border he prevented people crossing whilst in the army. A film about the impact of momentous decisions, and the hostile mountain terrain at the heart of an illegal industry.
Post-screen Q&A with renowned Channel 4 writer and broadcaster Paul Mason and Farouq Habib (May Day Rescue/White Helmets Syria) 

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7 Chinese Brothers Dir. Bob Byington/USA/2015/75 min Saturday 24 September 20:30
The title of this immersion in the anarchistic work life of Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is based on a Chinese fable about brothers rescuing a sibling. But no one can save Larry, especially from himself. He sashays through low-paying jobs, an un-reliant member of the underclass. Fired for petty thievery, he is faithful to his grandmother (Olympia Dukakis), who is disgusted by his slacker ways. In memorable scenes, Grandma disdainfully throws her walker aside, a cook scoops up a mass of noodles, and Jason exposes a workplace bully by pushing over a barrel of ill-gotten coins. Oh, and Jason has a fat French bulldog, who doesn’t like to move much either.
Introduced by Anthony Curley, Youth officer

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