Search      Translate
with Jesus

American Factory (2019)American Factory (2019)

This movie begins with what is now an old story: the closure of a massive GM manufacturing plant in Dayton, Ohio on December 23, 2008. That closure, which story is told by the same film directors in their 2009 short documentary The Last Truck, cost the community 10,000 jobs. But then came the possibility of an unlikely savior, when in early 2014 the Fuyao Glass Company of China took over the plant to manufacture automotive glass. The goal was to "meld two cultures together." There were good intentions all around, hope, gratitude, humor, a billion dollars of investment, and state tax breaks. There was also mutual incomprehension and fascination. Virtually every aspect of work and life was bitterly contested: language, quality, efficiency, safety, and wages (that were cut from GM's $29 an hour to Fuyao's $13 an hour). These many factors coalesced around (surprise!) the issue of unionization, which vote had a very conclusive outcome for the 1300 workers. There's no external narration to the film; the only story told is that by the factory workers, both Chinese and American, both workers and supervisors, both angry and satisfied, all in the context of the newly renovated manufacturing plant. American Factory debuted at the 2019 Sundance festival, and then went on to earn the 2020 Academy Award for best documentary. At the end of the film you feel equal parts empathy and anger. Welcome to the world of work in our globalized economy. I watched this movie on Netflix.

Dan Clendenin:

Copyright © 2001–2024 by Daniel B. Clendenin. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla Developer Services by Help With