2011 Labour Film Festival, Dennis Hurley Hall, Durban


 FREE       6 – 9.00pm


8 – 9 June 2011





DAY 1 

DAY 2 


Dir: Robert Greenwald; 2005; 60mins

WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE is a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant’s assault on families and American values.


The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!





Produced & directed by: AIDC & WWMP;2009; 48 mins 

The first documentary film for both organisations and it focuses on the current global economic crisis – its impact on the working class and the responses by trade unions, government and big business in South Africa. It includes interviews with leading trade unionists, workers, community members, NGO workers and academics.  The film is decidedly leftwing and critical in its approach and attempts to explain the crisis in Marxist terms and poses serious questions about alternative responses to the crisis, that constantly impacts negatively on the working class and the world’s poor. Moreover, this current crisis is also ecological and renders capitalism unsustainable and a threat to life on Earth.






Dir: David Faber; 2009; 65mins

CNBC’s Emmy Award winning anchor and reporter David Faber investigates The New Age of Walmart.


An inside look at how the world’s largest retailer is trying to reinvent itself. CNBC’s David Faber investigates whether new leadership, aggressive green policies and a full-scale store overhaul signify real change for the controversial powerhouse. The documentary also includes a unique view of how the latest Walmart rides into town.


Five years ago CNBC’s David Faber took an unprecedented look inside the world’s largest retailer. Since then, much has changed. A brutal onslaught of lawsuits, intense criticism and a plummeting stock price have resulted in re-invention at the largest company in the world. Today there’s new leadership at the top, major store renovations and a newfound focus on environmentally friendly policies. 

So far, it looks like Walmart’s new image campaign is working. While many companies are cutting back or going bankrupt in the midst of recession, Walmart continues to grow — outperforming its major competitors.

But are the changes Walmart has undergone substantial ones… or merely slick public relations ploys?  And what challenges does the giant retailer face as it continues its aggressive expansion?




Dir: Avi Lewis; 2004; 87 min

A revolution has been televised, not the revolution, but an exhilarating example of what unity and hard work can achieve.  The Take is a feature length documentary that beautifully captures the will and strength of the collective.  Directed by Avi Lewis, and written by Naomi Klein, it focuses on the struggle of thirty Argentinean workers on a mission to reclaim and collectively run their closed down factory.  Part of a wider movement of Argentinean workers and communities reacting to economic crisis and exploitation, the thirty workers of the Forja auto-parts factory work day and night to ‘occupy, resist and produce’ in order to restore dignity and meaning to their lives.


The Mass Education Campaign

 The annual labour film festivals are part of the mass education campaign that aims to:


  • Deepen ideological work and develop working class consciousness on a mass basis through mass political education.
  • Develop and enskill local groups of labour and community media and education practitioners in approximately 50 communities to regularly produce and disseminate education.
  • Provide organisational and resource support to local working class communities’ mass education initiatives.
  • Develop a dynamic and sustainable local organisational base for labour education and media activities, responsive to new realities, and able to build community participation and leadership as part of ensuring maximum unity of the working class.


Since 2010, Cosatu and WWMP along with several community, NGO’s and labour service organisations have partnered to develop the Mass Education Campaign (MEC).


During April – July 2011 the focus of the mass education campaign is to educate around the American company Walmart’s buyout of Massmart (Game, Dion, Makro and Builder’s Warehouse stores), labour brokers and the new proposed labour law amendments. The labour film festivals are intended to kick-start these in all the regions of South Africa. If you would like to participate in the project contact Cosatu offices or WWMP. Also join the Labour Community Radio Forum/Cosatu Local in your area.



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