Hot Docs highlights interesting new documentaries we’ve recently added to our collection.
The Uprising of ’34 (DVD 10617) tells the story of a massive but largely unremembered textile worker strike from 1934. It was at the time the largest labor strike in the history of the United States and lasted for nearly a month, greatly impacting the South’s textile industry and ending in a major, lasting defeat for the unions in the South. This documentary interviews participants in the strike and explores the strike’s lasting but forgotten effects on the current state of labor unions.
Official description from the publisher’s website:
In 1934, Southern textile workers took the lead in a nationwide strike that saw half a million walk off their jobs in the largest single-industry strike in the history of the United States. For a time, these new union members, in response to New Deal legislation, stood up for their rights and became a force to be reckoned with in the South. Then management moved in and crushed the strike. Some mill workers were murdered, thousands more were blacklisted, and many were so intimidated that “union” became a dirty word in Southern communities for decades to come.
Barely publicized, rarely acknowledged in history books, the General Textile Strike of 1934 remains a stirring yet amazingly forgotten chapter in Southern history. The Uprising of ’34, a film by famed documentarian George Stoney and independent filmmakers Judith Helfand and Susanne Rostock, examines this hidden legacy of the labor movement in the South and its impact today.