First Friday Films presents: “American Factory” by Directors: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 6.
In 2016, Fuyao, a Chinese auto-glass manufacturing company, took over a shuttered General Motors factory near Dayton, Ohio, investing millions and hiring hundreds of local workers.
With detail and sweep, interviews and you-are-there visuals, the filmmakers quickly establish a clear, strong narrative line as the new enterprise — Fuyao Glass America — gets off the ground. The film offers an emotionally and politically trenchant chronicle of capitalism, propaganda, conflicting values and labor rights. As the factory ramps up, optimism gives way to unease, dissent and fear. Some workers are hurt, others are at risk; glass breaks, tempers fray. Both the Chinese and American management complain about production and especially about the American workers who are mainly grateful for a new shot.
The self-made billionaire Chinese owner, “Chairman Cao,” is charming at first, but frustrations frays his patience. The feature-length story related here is timely, complex, stirring, and beautifully shaped, spanning continents as it surveys the past, present and possible future of American labor. (NY Times)
It is the first release from Higher Ground Productions, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company. Discussion after the Screening. No charge, but donations welcomed.