CGWR and The Sustainability Institute Launch Labor Rights Film Series

CGWR teamed up with Penn State’s Sustainability Institute on a new film series titled “Intersections: Landscapes of Labor.”
CGWR and The Sustainability Institute Launch Labor Rights Film Series

The film series organizers, Center faculty, and LGWR students in the HUB-Robeson Center on March 19, after a screening of The Second Mother.

By Manuel Rosaldo

Last spring, CGWR teamed up with Penn State’s Sustainability Institute on a new film series titled “Intersections: Landscapes of Labor.” The series highlighted connections between labor rights, sustainability, and racial, gender, and environmental justice.  The series was co-sponsored by 10 academic centers, student groups, community groups, and labor unions. Films were picked thematically to coincide with campus wide programming such as Martin Luther King Jr. Week, Defending Brazilian Democracy Week, and Pride Month. Before each film, student activists circulated petitions and made announcements about pressing labor rights struggles.

Over the course of the semester, we screened four films to nearly 600 students, faculty members, and community members. The first, Sorry to Bother You (2018, USA) is an absurdist comedy that depicts the intersecting worlds of call centers, race relations, globalization, and worker organizing in Oakland. The second, The Organizer (1963, Italy), offers a neorealist view of the lived experiences of striking textile workers at the dawn of the industrial labor movement in Turin, Italy. The third, The Second Mother (2015, Brazil) portrays issues of gender and class in domestic work, telling the story of a live-in housekeeper, who moves across Brazil to help raise a wealthy family’s child in order to send money back home to her own child. The fourth, Pride (2014, England), highlights the potentials and challenges of intermovement solidarity, depicting an unlikely alliance between out-and-proud gay and lesbian Londoners and striking Welsh mine workers. The film series organizing committee consisted of Peter Boger, Katherine Maich, Paolo Marinaro, and Manuel Rosaldo.