10 Minutes With The Working Class

the weaversstill from The Weavers by Anna Molska

Under the theme of Workers Leaving the Factory, we’re screening a filmprogram embedded within the installation Zoo at Skogen, Gothenburg.

weavers7still from The Weavers by Anna Molska

The Weavers by Anna Molska is a short film based on a play by Nobel Prize Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann written in 1892. Hauptmanns’ play portrays a revolt by weavers working in textile mills, which occurred in Silesia 50 years earlier. The film by Anna Molska is also recorded in the Silesian mountains, nowadays a region in Poland. Here, coalminers await notice of redundancies and the closing down of the mining industry. When the coalmine in Bobrek Centrum was closed, there were no protests from the miners, rather a sense of resignation. Anna Molska has used coalminers as actors, with the coalmines and the surrounding landscape as scenography. In her shortened version of the play, the revolt itself has been cut out. What is left is a dialogue amongst three men, and a doleful chorus singing at the end: ‘Oh, you villains, Satan’s spawn, you eat the bread but send hunger down’.

10 minutes with the working class

still from 10 Minutes With The Working Class by Florin Iepan

10 Minutes With The Working Class by Florin Iepan is a form of farewell to the industrial documentaries recorded in Romanias Communist times. Filmmakers were employed to portray the heroic collective of industrial workers. These documentaries were screened in cinemas before the beginning of the main event, which accounts for their standard length of ten minutes. The title of Florin Iepans film, as well as the film itself, is both ironic and nostalgic. Various absurd sketches are performed by the workers of a collapsing factory, which at one time was the largest in Romania. The narrator of the film begins his introduction with a comparison to Jurassic Park and the words: “This factory is one of the last remaining places on Earth where one can still encounter a sample of Europe’s now extinct working class.”

the making of a demonstration

The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer

The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer portrays the recording of a scene in the film Osama, the first film produced in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime. During the first day of shooting, the team reconstructed a demonstration in which Afghan women had demanded the right to paid employment. Around 1000 women participated as extras in the scene. In the short video by Sandra Schäfer we see the director passing instructions to the women before their re-enactment of the demonstration, and how they receive their paychecks at the end of the day on set.

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still from The Making Of A Demonstration by Sandra Schäfer

Thank you to Simona Buzatu at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm and to Anna Tomaszewska at the Polish Institute in Stockholm!

 

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