When: Tuesdays, April 5 to 26 at 6:30pm
Where: Integrative Learning Center (ILC) Room S231*
RSVP for Film Festival here. No charge – donations suggested to Western Mass. Jobs with Justice.
Films will be accompanied by a speaker or panel. Details below.
4/5: Bread and Roses – Feature film based on the Justice for Janitors organizing of primarily immigrant workers in Los Angeles.
4/12: Blood Fruit – Documentary about a small group of Irish retail workers, almost all women, who refused to handle South African-produced fruit during the apartheid era. Not in general release, only available to film festivals.
4/19: A Day’s Work – As a lead-in to Worker Memorial Day the following week, this documentary film tells the story of a young temp worker killed his first day on the job. Not in general release, only available to film festivals; the film-maker will join us to talk about the film.
4/26: Pride – Feature film based on a true story of a group of LBGT activists who raised money to support the workers during the British Miners strike of 1984, and the interactions between the two groups.
*The Integrative Learning Center is adjacent to the Campus Center, and just behind the Student Union building. You can easily get to the ILC if you park on Level 2 of the Campus Center Parking Garage and walk up the ramp into the Campus Center; the ILC is outside, on the same side of the Campus Center building as the Blue Wall, which is the food court area in the Campus Center. If needed, here is a link to a UMass campus map: http://www.umass.edu/visitorsctr/sites/default/files/maps/map-2015.pdf.
Against the backdrop of the national campaign for a $15 minimum wage and the labor/economic discussions in the raucous ongoing U.S. presidential primaries, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Labor Center has organized the Pioneer Valley Labor Film Festival. This weekly film festival during April will include two documentary films not yet in general release. The Festival, co-sponsored by Western Massachusetts Jobs with Justice (WMJwJ), is free and open to the general public and will feature one film every Tuesday evening in April at 6:30 p.m., accompanied by a speaker or panel and audience discussion.
The Festival starts Tuesday, April 5 with a screening of the film Bread and Roses. Stephen Lerner, the architect of the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Justice for Janitors campaign, an innovative and powerful model for social movement organizing, will discuss the Los Angeles drive to organize immigrant janitors that provided the inspiration for the film. Adriana Fieldman, Commercial Services Director at SEIU 32BJ District 615 in Boston, will provide perspective on current initiatives organizing immigrant workers in Massachusetts.
The two following Tuesdays feature two documentary films currently available only to film festivals.
Blood Fruit (April 12) tells the powerful story of a small group of Irish retail workers, almost all women, who refused to handle South African-produced fruit during the apartheid era.
A Day’s Work (April 19) will be accompanied by the film-maker, Dave DeSario, and law professor Harris Freeman from Western New England University Law School, who will discuss the plight of temp workers and the state of health and safety protections through the wrenching account of a young temp worker killed his first day on the job.
The Festival ends Tuesday, April 26 on an upbeat note with Pride, a feature film based on a true story of a group of LBGT activists who raised money to support the workers during the British Miner’s strike of 1984. The film portrays the comedic, dramatic and complex interactions between the two groups, and Karen “Rudy” Renaud, Greenfield Town Councilor, Organizing Director of SEIU Local 888 and current Labor Center MS student, will lead a discussion of labor building alliances with LBGT organizations as well as with a range of other types of groups throughout the community.
The Pioneer Valley Labor Film Festival is an outgrowth of a Labor and Film class offered through the Labor Center’s MS degree in Labor Studies. Students in the class have developed a Festival Guide that contains essays on each of the films, as well as annotated sources for audience members who are interested in learning more about the real stories behind each of the films and some of the key issues raised around alliances and new organizing.