Labor Day

Labor Day

What would the end of summer be without Labor Day? So here we are again, happy for the long weekend, and for the reminder to turn our attention at least once a year to, well, the working class. Which if the U.S. is still not ready to celebrate May Day (by the way marking a specifically American historical event), we will take. So of course, while at OVID we try and pay attention all year round, we’re happy to present this year’s selection of films for Labor Day! They include a wide-range of films, documentary and narrative feature films, on U.S. issues and global ones, on wider social questions and movements, and also some intense and moving personal stories.

And you don’t have to watch them all this weekend – add the ones that interest you to your watchlist and you can pay attention whenever you like as well!

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Labor Day
  • In the Aisles

    Directed by Thomas Stuber • Drama • With Franz Rogowski, Sandra Huller • 2018 • 125 minutes

    When the reclusive Christian (Franz Rogowski, TRANSIT) takes a job working the night shift at a big box store, his new manager, Bruno from the Beverage Department (Peter Kurth, BABYLON BERLIN), teaches hi...

  • Class of Struggle

    Directed by The Medvedkin Group • Documentary • 1969 • 37 minutes

    In 1967, Chris Marker and Mario Marret (under the aegis of SLON) produced A BIENTOT J'ESPERE , which documented a strike and factory occupation-the first in France since 1936-by textile workers at the Rhodiaceta textile plant in B...

  • Howard Zinn: A People's History of the United States

    Directed by Olivier Azam, Daniel Mermet • Documentary • With Howard Zinn • 2016 • 100 minutes

    "As long as rabbits don't have historians, history will be written by the hunters."

    With the tremendous success of his book, A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn radically changed the w...

  • Live Nude Girls Unite!

    Directed by Vicky Funari & Julia Query • Documentary • With Julia Query, Siobhan Brooks, Kristina, Ellen, Star, Joyce Wallace • 2000 • 70 minutes

    Winner of the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Live Nude Girls Unite! is "a partisan tale from the inside" (Boston Pho...

  • Discount

    Directed by Louis-Julien Petit • Drama • With Olivier Barthélémy, Corinne Masiero • 2014 • 102 minutes

    Leaving OVID on June 30th!

    One day the checkout assistants at Discount's, the local supermarket, learn that their jobs are being threatened by the installation of automatic cash registers. If ...

  • The Miners' Hymns

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2011 • 52 minutes

    The ill-fated coal mining communities in North East England are the subject of this inspired documentary by multi-media artist Bill Morrison. Their story is told entirely without words, yet the film is far from silent: it features a rem...

  • Germinal

    Directed by Claude Berri • Drama • With Renaud, Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou • 1993 • 160 minutes

    Winner of France’s prestigious César Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design, this epic film is based on the novel by Émile Zola.

    During the Second Napoleonic Empire (the mid-19th cen...

  • Northern Light

    Directed by Nick Bentgen and Lisa Kjerulff • Documentary • 2013 • 105 minutes

    Set against the backdrop of a town's annual snowmobile race, NORTHERN LIGHT explores the working class experience in a series of captivating personal stories of recession-era America. The lives of three families change...

  • Night Mail

    Directed by Harry Watt & Basil Charles Wright • Documentary • 1936 • 23 minutes

    A cornerstone of British documentary, Harry Watt and Basil Wright's NIGHT MAIL, with music by Benjamin Britten and verse by W.H. Auden, stands as a beacon for John Grierson's original purpose for documentary - to mak...

  • Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists

    Directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher • Documentary • 1980 • 55 minutes

    A dramatic portrait of immigrant life in the U.S. as seen through the eyes of the sweatshop workers who made up the Jewish anarchist movement. Between 1900 and WWI they built trade unions, organized schools, sponsored ...

  • Miners Shot Down

    Directed by Rehad Desai • Documentary • 2014 • 86 minutes

    In August 2012, mine workers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress it, killing 34 and injuring many more. Th...

  • Outcry and Whisper

    Directed by WEN Hai and ZENG Jinyan • Documentary • 2020 • 100 minutes

    A performance artist approaches a dais with a quiet formality, then proceeds to slowly and deliberately slice a series of cuts into her face with a razor. A doctoral student/filmmaker, under house arrest and constant surveill...

  • We the Workers

    Directed by Wen Hai • Documentary • 2017 • 174 minutes

    China’s economic miracle has been built on cheap labor. And now, that labor is starting to fight back. Filmed in the southeastern part of the country, WE THE WORKERS is a vérité documentary that closely follows people organizing workers and ...

  • As Goes Janesville

    Directed by Brad Lichtenstein • Documentary • 2012 • 87 minutes

    As Goes Janesville catapults viewers to the front lines of a national debate over the fate of the American economy and the survival of the middle class – a debate that turned into a pitched battle in the normally tranquil state of W...

  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    Directed by Rosine Mbakam • Documentary • 2018 • 70 minutes

    Sabine attaches a hair weave and gets to work. Her hands move quickly and precisely, as she tightly braids the hair in front of the sign in her salon promising African, European, and American-style coiffure. Sabine is a larger than-life...

  • Another World is Possible

    Directed by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young • Documentary • 2002 • 24 minutes

    What if 51,000 people from 131 countries put their heads together to discuss what is wrong with the world and how to work together to change it? In early 2002, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, public officials, representatives ...

  • Be Seeing You

    Directed by Mario Marret, Chris Marker • Documentary • 1968 • 39 minutes

    From 1967 to 1976 Chris Marker was a member of SLON (the 'Company for the Launching of New Works'), a group based on the idea that cinema should not be thought of solely in terms of commerce. 1967 was also the year an impor...

  • Finally Got the News

    Directed by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner • Documentary • 1970 • 55 minutes

    FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with th...

  • I Am Somebody

    Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1970 • 30 minutes

    In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard. Featuring An...

  • Housemaids

    Directed by Gabriel Mascaro • Documentary • 2012 • 76 minutes

    Housemaids are an integral part of the household in Brazil, and participate in the day-to-day life of the family. The employment of housemaids is almost obligatory among the middle and upper classes of the country. The vast majority o...

  • Last Grave at Dimbaza

    Directed by Chris Curling and Pascoe Macfarlane • Documentary • 1974 • 55 minutes

    In 1969, a small group of South African exiles and British film students formed Morena Films in London to produce films about apartheid. By 1974, they produced one of the first, and certainly the most influential, ...

  • Dying for Gold

    Directed by Catherine Meyburgh & Richard Pakleppa • Documentary • 2019 • 98 minutes

    In the biggest class action law suit the country had ever seen, South Africa’s largest gold mining companies were accused of knowingly exposing miners to deadly dust and disease.

    Now, harrowing underground foota...

  • Bitter Money

    Directed by Wang Bing • Documentary • 2016 • 152 minutes

    The people in Wang Bing's BITTER MONEY lie in filthy, cramped apartments, stare at their phones for far too long, spend time on their balconies overlooking drab streets in which all the buildings look the same, and work long hours for litt...