Films - North West Labour Film Festival

2016 programme of events

Gala drinks reception

Thursday 6th October 5:00pm Picturehouse Bar (FACT) Liverpool

I, Daniel Blake

Thursday 6th October 5:30pm – Special release screening. Picturehouse (FACT) Liverpool.

Dir. Ken Loach/UK/2016/100 min

Having directed more than 50 socially conscious films, perhaps no filmmaker in history has been as committed to working people as Ken Loach. His latest film, I, Daniel Blake, dramatises the struggle of a Newcastle joiner with heart disease and his friend Katie, a single mother. Daniel is out of work and battling the Kafkaesque welfare system, whilst Katie is trying to get out of the hostel to which she has been assigned. The film for the era of austerity, food banks and the demonisation of the working poor, it deservedly won this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or, and won’t leave a dry eye or an unclenched fist in the house.

Viva Ken Loach! Q&A with the film producer Rebecca O’Brien (and Film Director Ken Loach tbc)

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7 Chinese Brothers

Thursday 6th October 7:40pm Picturehouse (FACT) Liverpool

Dir. Bob Byington/USA/2015/75 min The title of this immersion in the anarchistic work life of Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is based on a Chinese fable about brothers rescuing a sibling. But no one can save Larry, especially from himself. He sashays through low-paying jobs, an un-reliant member of the underclass. Fired for petty thievery, he is faithful to his grandmother (Olympia Dukakis), who is disgusted by his slacker ways. In memorable scenes, Grandma disdainfully throws her walker aside, a cook scoops up a mass of noodles, and Jason exposes a workplace bully by pushing over a barrel of ill-gotten coins. Oh, and Jason has a fat French bulldog, who doesn’t like to move much either.

Introduced by Antony Curley

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 Complimentary drinks reception

Friday 7th October 5:00pm (The Plaza Community Cinema, Sefton, Liverpool)

Mining Poems or Odes (screened before Where to invade next)

Friday 7th October 5:45pm (The Plaza Community Cinema, Sefton, Liverpool)

Dir. Callum Rice/UK/20/11 min

Robert Fullerton is a force. Welder turned poet or poet turned welder? It doesn’t much matter in this evocation of his life and philosophy, and the forces that helped make him a mesmerising artist. “There she sits, majestic / He stands by engineering” begins his first poem, as he reminisces about being a 17-year old apprentice in Glasgow’s shipyards. Self-educated, and proud of listening to his mentor Archie (“a big voice”), who commanded him to read Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which, like Das Kapital, tells how workers “gift” the profits of their labor to capitalists. A film about work and poetry. Post-screen Q&A with Robert Fullerton (including a poetry reading)

Where to Invade Next

Friday 7th October 6:15pm (The Plaza Community Cinema, Sefton, Liverpool)

Dir. Michael Moore/USA/2015/120 min

Having spent 25 years making films defending ordinary people, Moore is now one of the 100 most influential people alive according to Time Magazine. Moore now follows up Capitalism: A Love Story with Where to Invade Next, in which the formidable filmmaker tours the world to investigate what the USA could learn from other countries. Discovering that Italian workers get paid holidays and parental leave; Finland’s students have no homework; Slovenians don’t pay for university; and that Tunisian women have access to abortion, he also goes to Iceland, where women hold top governmental positions whilst (mostly male) bankers are prosecuted, in a brilliant film about people before profit.

Q&A with Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Rayner, MEP Julie Ward & TUC Regional Secretary Lynne Collins

Get tickets: 0151 928 1530

The Judgment – UK film premiere

Friday 7th October 20:45 (The Plaza Community Cinema, Sefton, Liverpool)

Dir. Stephan Komandarev/Bulgaria/2014/107 min

The waves of immigrants being smuggled across our borders are now daily news. But how do immigrants make it to Europe through often hostile and unforgiving terrain? Whilst immigrant stories are told, we know less about the people who actually do the smuggling. This Bulgarian entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar follows Mityo who, having lost his wife, job and the respect of his son, takes up a job smuggling Syrian immigrants across the very Bulgarian/Turkish/Greek border he prevented people crossing whilst in the army. A film about the impact of momentous decisions, and the hostile mountain terrain at the heart of an illegal industry.

Introduction or Q&A Farouq Habib (May Day Rescue/White Helmets Syria)

Book tickets: 0151 928 1530

Author talk on Labour Cinema

Saturday 8th October 1:30pm (Picturehouse Bar)

Tom Zaniello (USA)  author of Union Maids, Reds and Riff Raff and the Cinema of Globalization will give a short talk on labour cinema. Join us for a coffee and a chat.


Saturday 8th October 2:40pm (Picturehouse (FACT) Liverpool)

Dir. Carolyn Barlett/UK/20 /6 mins

Carolyn Bartlett’s film zeroes in on the face of one Fire and Rescue Service centre operator (Kate Dickie), helping a distraught woman calling in a fire trapping her and her daughter. Calmly directing the woman around the room, getting her to open a window, spread a duvet under the door, and keeping her from going off the rails, the operator’s voice is one we all hope we never have to hear. But it’s important to know she’s out there, sponsored, like the film, by the Fire Brigades Union, ‘the professional voice of your fire fighters’. Based on true events, this incredibly powerful film recently won a BAFTA.

Introduction by FBU North West

The 33

Saturday 8th October 2:40pm

Dir. Patricia Riggen/Chile-USA /2015/127 min

The extraordinary story of the miners trapped for 69 days in Chile’s Copiapo gold-copper mine is of a place where mining began in 1889, but which now requires work 2300 feet underground. With cracks destroying the tunnels, the ‘rock’ that trapped the 33 was twice the size of the Empire State Building. Reaching a pre-built shelter, and discovering that there was no first aid kit, intercom, adequate water supply or escape route, they were given less than a 1% chance to live. Led by stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, The 33 is about an exploited working class community, cooperating, rationing and praying for survival.

Q&A with Chris Kitchen, General Secretary NUM and author of labour cinema, Tom Zaniello.

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Havana Club drinks reception 5:15pm


Saturday 8th October 5:45pm

Dir. Jay Roach/USA/2015/124 min

Bryan Cranston, famous for his turn as a schoolteacher turned kingpin in Breaking Bad, proves he’s capable of doing anything in Trumbo. Dalton Trumbo, a top Hollywood screenwriter, ran afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, where he was jailed for eleven months for refusing to testify. Known for writing scripts in the bathtub, his pre-conviction hits included working women drama Kitty Foyle and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, about WW2. Whilst blacklisted he wrote Spartacus, about the revolt of Roman slaves, and Exodus. Packing a remarkable life into two hours, this is a crackling story of a man determined to fight for the underdog.

Q&A renowned journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason and author from USA, Tom Zaniello

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Sunday 9th October 3:10pm

Dir. Mike Nichols/USA/1983/128 min

A cinematic classic Silkwood is based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a union activist for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers in a Kerr-McGee. A cinematic classic Silkwood is based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a union activist for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers in a Kerr-McGee plutonium processing plant. Guilty of dangerous, cancer-inducing contamination, Silkwood’s activism was seen as a sign of trouble. Believing that the company was tampering records, Silkwood was on the way to meet the New York Times, only for her car to mysteriously crash, and for the evidence to disappear. A breathtaking combination of drama and message, with a towering performance from Meryl Streep, who captures the spirit of a woman who’s death helped ensure the passage of important safety legislation; a heroine for the nuclear age.

Q&A with Sellafield union activists

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