(Bill Duke, US 1985, 118 min., DCP)
Commemorating the centennial of Chicago’s 1919 race riot
Labor Film Series | Panel Discussion. The film that inspired creation of the Rochester Labor Film Series in 1989, The Killing Floor recounts the true story of efforts to organize an interracial union of Chicago packing house workers during and after World War I. The film explores the tensions between southern black workers lured north by high wartime wages and the ethnic European workers they replace, culminating in the 1919 Chicago race riots. The film won a Special Jury Prize at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival and was selected by the Zinn Education Project as a resource for “Teaching People’s History.”
Following the screening there will be a discussion of issues raised by the film, exploring the link between racial discrimination in the workplace and racial violence in the community. Panelists include Demond Meeks from 1199 SEIU; Shelly D. Clements from the local chapter of Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; and local filmmaker Carvin Eison, who documented Rochester’s race riot (JULY 1964).
Upcoming Events in this Series
Labor Film Series. Ermanno Olmi, one of Italy’s most prolific directors but underappreciated in the United States, reflects his deep understanding of the rhythms of life and labor of northern Italy’s peasants and his commitment to them.
Labor Film Series | Rochester Premiere | Discussion. Unlike labor films that depict class struggles on the shop floor or the picket line, At War shows the struggle waged at the bargaining table, involving management’s decision to close an auto parts plant despite wage concessions made by the workers to keep it open.
Labor Film Series | Alloy Orchestra. The Alloy Orchestra returns to the Dryden Theatre with this silent film, director Dziga Vertov’s lasting contribution to world cinema.