“That’s what they wanted for the workers – to be people, not nobody.” Kino Lorber has debuted a new re-release trailer for a 70s documentary about one of the very first unions in America called The Wobblies. The film has been restored by the Museum of Modern Art in 4K and is getting a re-release – in theaters in NYC and online via the Metrograph viewing site, if you want to watch this at home. The Wobblies “boldly investigates a nation torn by naked corporate greed and the red-hot rift between the industrial masters and the rabble-rousing workers in the field and factory.” The film tells the story of the creation of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union, founded in Chicago in 1905. It was also recently introduced into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The filmmakers weave history, archival film footage, interviews with former workers (in their 80s & 90s during the making of the film), cartoons, original art, and classic Wobbly songs (many written by Joe Hill) to pay tribute to the legacy of these rebels who paved the way. This looks like a fascinating doc that’s even more relevant with the current events and recent news.
Here’s the 4K re-release trailer (+ poster) for Bird & Shaffer’s doc The Wobblies, direct from YouTube:
And here’s another older trailer with different footage for the doc The Wobblies, also found on YouTube:
“When we started production on The Wobblies in 1977 our goal was to rescue and record an almost completely neglected chapter of American history as told by its elderly survivors. We never imagined then that the themes of labor exploitation, anti-immigrant legislation, and racial and gender discrimination would resonate as strongly today. We couldn’t be prouder to have the film included last year in the National Film Registry, and to have Kino Lorber present the new 4K MoMA restoration nationwide on International Workers Day.”
—Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer
“Solidarity! All for One and One for All!” Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changed the course of American history. This compelling documentary of the IWW (or “The Wobblies” as they were known), narrated by Roger Baldwin, one of the founders of the ACLU, tells the story of workers in factories, sawmills, wheat fields, forests, mines and on the docks as they organize and demand better wages, healthcare, overtime pay and safer working conditions for everyone. In some respects, men and women, Black and white, skilled and unskilled workers joining a union and speaking their minds seems so long ago, but in other ways, the film mirrors today’s headlines, depicting a nation torn by corporate greed. The Wobblies is co-directed by filmmakers Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer (Fire from the Mountain, Dance of Hope, To Be Heard, Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack). This originally premiered at the 1979 New York Film Festival years ago. Metrograph is re-releasing The Wobblies from Kino Lorber in a one week theatrical run in NYC on April 29th, 2022 + viewing at home from Metrograph. For more info on how visit their official website.