April 19, 2004
UCSC student films featured during third annual
May Day Labor Film Festival April 25-May 1
By Jennifer McNulty
Community studies major Evelyn Richards discovered the powerful medium
of film while making her first-ever documentary about local solidarity
efforts for striking grocery workers in southern California.
Reel Work, the third annual May Day Labor Film Festival,
offers a mix of rare and well-known critically acclaimed films.
Its incredible, said Richards, who collaborated
with community studies major Jamie Radenbaugh to make Starting with
Health Care: Building Solidarity in the Safeway Struggle.
After viewing several student projects produced during last quarters
class, Video Production of the Social Documentary, including
documentaries about a local dog park and the campaign to change UCSC
food-service providers, Richards said, I feel really close to
all those issues now.
Richards is one of several UCSC students whose films will premiere
during Reel Work, http://www.reelwork.org/
the third annual May Day Labor Film Festival, which takes place April
25-May 1, with screenings on campus and at several community venues.
Begun in 2002 to increase awareness of the labor movement, the festival
presents a mix of rare and well-known critically acclaimed films. In
addition to presenting student films, highlights of the festival include:
Two appearances by Marta Rodriguez and screenings of her film,
Love, Women, and Flowers, a powerful documentary that captures
the struggles of women who work on farms in Colombia where flowers are
grown for export.
Members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe will attend the screening
of their forthcoming film, Mr. Smith Goes to Obscuristan, and
will discuss the production of the documentary.
UCSC labor historian Dana Frank will offer comments following
a screening of Modern Times, Charlie Chaplins 1936 masterpiece
about the dawning of the machine age.
The screening of Miami 2003: Your Tax Dollars at Work,
a film by Lisa Mastramico, assistant field-study coordinator for community
studies, that captures the tension between free trade and free speech.
Film festival coorganizer Paul Ortiz, assistant professor of
community studies, will discuss Germinal, a 1993 French classic
about the struggles of coal miners.
In addition, Haskell Wexler, director of photography for Matewan
and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, will attend the screening
of his film Bus Riders Union. Wexler will also discuss his collaboration
with Ian Ruskin on their film, The Harry Bridges Project, which
captures Ruskins one-man Chautauqua performance about the life
of the renowned labor leader. Ruskin will also give a live performance
of the play From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks.
The festival concludes Saturday, May 1, with a gala celebration at
the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz, where filmmakers, producers, labor historians,
and union organizers featured in the films will discuss their work.
Admission to all events is by donation. A full schedule is available
Festival cosponsors include the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council,
Local 10 of the Coalition of University Employees, Branch 269 of the
National Association of Letter Carriers, Sasquatch Computer, the UCSC
Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community, and Community Printers.
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