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The Factory, a film by Rahul Roy
Mon, September 28, 2015 @ 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM$6.00 – $15.00
Directed by Rahul Roy
India | 2015 | 132 mins
A presentation by and discussion with Rahul Roy will immediately follow the presentation of the film
The Factory traces the monumental struggle of Indian auto workers of Maruti Suzuki, Manesar in their historic fight to form a union and the violent repression they faced at the hands of the corporate-sponsored state labor regime. The film focuses on the three year criminal prosecution of hundreds of workers which exposed a widespread system of injustice, geared to protect the profits of shareholders invested in the global auto industry, investigating the underbelly of class conflict and the skewed nature of capitalist justice.
What follows is from Scroll.in:
“The production process had to become a very important element,” director Rahul Roy says. “That was a huge challenge, since I didn’t have access to the management. How do you create a narrative around the production process without putting people to sleep?”
The fact that the Maruti management obdurately refused to talk to Roy or give him permission to shoot inside the plant also influenced the narrative. The Factory is seen through the eyes of the workers and their supporters. There is no attempt to establish equivalence by seeking the other side of the story. Maruti’s views on the matter come through in indirect ways: through a presentation that plays out on a giant screen as dancers writhe before it in silhouette, media reports and the legal representations made by the company. Maruti appears in the film as a malevolent presence that instituted an unhealthy work culture to ensure profit at all costs, actively blocked the workers’ legitimate demands to allow them to form a union, and influenced villagers living near the plant through corporate social responsibility programs into providing them with muscle power when the workers went on strike.
Sweat and blood
The Factory is in the same mould as the landmark 1976 documentary Harlan County, USA, Barbara Kopple’s exhaustive account of a lengthy and complicated strike by coal mine workers in Kentucky in 1973. Kopple spent a few years with the workers and their families and captured the crests and troughs of the movement. Some of Harlan County, USA’s most stirring sequences are of the solidarity and courage displayed by the mine workers and their families, who battle violence, litigation and changes within the union with utmost clarity about their basic rights and their unquestionable contributions to their employer’s bottomline.
Rahul Roy has previously examined working-class lives in his films Majma, When Four Friends Meet and The City Beautiful, but he has mostly been engaged with the informal sector, such as handloom weavers in The City Beautiful. “Labor has been an abiding interest, so there is a continuum with my previous films, but I have always worked with unorganized labor,” said Roy, who graduated from the Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi in 1987 and was a part of the generation of documentarians who worked on video and investigated the economic and social divisions that opened up in India after the Emergency.
The Factory is one of the several films funded by the Justice Project, which examines political, social and economic conflicts across the subcontinent. Filmmakers and researchers in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka have produced films as well as academic studies on such varied subjects as the Ayodha mosque dispute, the death of garment workers in Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013, and post-civil war compensation in Sri Lanka.
For the complete article visit: http://scroll.in/article/731388/a-new-documentary-brings-the-maruti-struggle-alive-through-the-stories-of-its-arrested-workers