Democratic Cinema

Democratic Cinema – Cinéma Liberté is mini-cinema programme where the audience selects the screened programme from our STRIKE! library curated by artist Anthony Haughey. All the screenings take place in the Mezzanine in the National Sculpture Factory from Mon 11th  to Sat 16th Sept, 12pm – 9pm.

To make your programme selection please contact the National Sculpture Factory at 021 4314353 or on info@nationalsculpturefactory from 4th Nov onwards. Or drop by on spec and select your own viewing.

Films will being on the hour.

All screenings selections are free to all.


Films in the library will include:


161 Days

Director: Declan O’Connell

Duration: 45 minutes

The 16th of December 2011 was to be the final day for workers at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork. Their redundancy payments had been agreed but in the final days of their employment they were informed that the payments could not or would not be made. A decision was made to occupy the plant which they did for 161 days, one of the longest running industrial disputes in the history of the Irish state. This is the story of the occupation.

The Great Grunwick Strike 1976-1978, A History (2008)

Director: Chris Thomas

Duration: 64 minutes

Commissioned by Brent Trade Union Council to commemorate the thirty-year anniversary of the strike held by a group of marginalised Asian women working in the Grunwick film-processing laboratory. The dispute quickly escalated to become an ideological standoff between the unions and right-wing employers and politicians, and was a precursor to a wider political campaign by Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government who came in power in 1979 determined to face down the unions.  Director Chris Thomas combines archival footage and interviews with some of the main protagonists to reveal the lessons learned from this bitterly fought labour dispute.


Look Back at Grunwick

Duration: 26 minutes

Stand Together

Duration: 52 minutes

Produced by Newsreel Collective (1977)

The dispute by mostly Asian women workers at the Grunwick film processing plant (1976-1978) was one of the most significant strikes of the second half of the twentieth century and became a rallying point for the whole of the labour movement. Stand Together documents the huge support the strikers received from the trade union movement and their attempts to win the backing necessary to win. Look Back at Grunwick shows that in Spite of the determination of the strikers and tremendous solidarity, the strike was lost and the reasons why.


The Globalisation Tapes (2002)

A collaborative film between the Independent Plantation Workers’ Union of Sumatra (Indonesia), the International  Union of Food and Agricultural Workers (IUF), and Vision Machine Film Project.

Duration: 70 minutes

The Globalisation Tapes is a film made by workers for workers. The story is narrated by union members who work in the palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Their experience is complemented by workers from both Colombia and Holland. The film powerfully documents their exploration of history, globalisation, and how unions around the world can support each other and struggle together.


Salt of the Earth (1954)

Director: Herbert J. Biberman

Duration: 94 minutes

The only blacklisted American film in history, Salt of the Earth was banned for its daring political content, which anticipated the civil rights and feminist movements by nearly ten years. Based on actual events, the film revolves around a strike by Mexican-American workers in a mining town in New Mexico. After vicious beatings and the suffering of the miners’ families, the wives and mothers of the striking workers take over the picket lines in a final demand for justice while the miners adopt the role of working mothers, minding babies and conducting household chores. It is a moment of revelation for the men who begin to realize the hard labour involved in running a home.


Harlan County USA (1976)

Director: Barbara Kopple

Duration: 105 minutes

This Academy Award winning film documents a bitterly fought coal miners’ strike in a Kentucky town. Kopple’s unflinching ethnographic eye captures the miners sometimes violent struggle with strike-breakers, local police, and gun totting company thugs. The soundtrack is superb featuring legendary country and bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis, and Florence Reece. The film is a heart-breaking record of the thirteen-month struggle between a community fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to maximizing profits. Beyond the labour issues, the film also takes a hard look at the living conditions, health issues and the human toil that goes along with the mining industry.


The Take (2004)

Directors: Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein

Duration: 87 minutes

In the wake of Argentina’s dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin America’s middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. The Forja auto plant lies dormant until its former employees take action, part of a daring new movement of workers who are occupying bankrupt businesses and creating jobs in the ruins of the failed system. Armed only with slingshots and an abiding faith in shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against the bosses, bankers and a whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap metal for sale.


Workers Leaving the Factory (1995)

Director: Harun Farocki

Duration: 36 minutes

Workers Leaving the Factory was the title of the first cinema film ever shown in public. The sequence depicts workers at the photographic products factory in Lyon, owned by the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière, hurrying, closely packed, out of the shadows of the factory gates and into the afternoon sun. Only here, in departing, are the workers visible as a social group. But where are they going? To the barricades? Or simply home? These questions have preoccupied generations of documentary filmmakers. In his documentary essay of the same title, Harun Farocki explores this scene right through the history of film.


The GAMA Strike – We Are Workers Not Slaves (2006)

Produced by: Socialist Party of Ireland

Duration: 60 minutes

The GAMA Strike – We Are Workers Not Slaves by the Socialist Party of Ireland describes how Turkish workers took on their employer, Turkish-owned multinational construction giant GAMA. Assisted by the Socialist Party (Ireland), whose members first exposed the scandalous wages and conditions being paid by GAMA to its Turkish workers, they engaged in a bitter and hard fought battle, which eventually forced GAMA to pay the workers the money owed to them.


Dole Not Coal, The 1984-85 Miners Story

A Film by Compress Media

Duration: 135 minutes

Dole Not Coal, The 1985-85 Miners Story is a reflective account of the miners strike in 1984. The film pays testimony to the miners, their supporters and the politicians who supported the 84-85 strike, together with the cause and effect on the striking miners in a gripping dispute and stand off with Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative government who coined the phrase ‘the enemy within’ to describe the perceived threat from the miners.