The Uprising of '34
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 03:15 PM | Main Street Landing
Director: George C. Stoney, Judith Helfand, and Susanne Rostock
The Uprising of ’34 is a startling documentary which tells the story of the General Strike of 1934, a massive but little-known strike by hundreds of thousands of Southern cotton mill workers during the Great Depression. The mill workers’ defiant stance — and the remarkable grassroots organizing that led up to it — challenged a system of mill-owner control that had shaped life in cotton mill communities for decades. Sixty years after the government brutally suppressed the strike, a dark cloud still hangs over this event, and it is spoken of only in whispers if at all.
The Uprising of ’34 is “meant to challenge the myth that Southern workers can’t be organized, that they will work for nothing, and that they hate unions,” says Stoney. More than a social document, the film is intended to spark discussion on class, race, economics, and power — issues as vital today as they were 77 years ago. “This is more than a story about a strike; it’s a story about community. We went out of our way to make sure that we didn’t make a ‘which side are you on’ film,” says Helfand. “The thrust of this film is to give the workers their chance to speak,” adds Rostock. “We’re very proud of the fact that here’s a film in which they speak for themselves [with no narrator].”
The film is shown as part of the special tribute to George Stoney. Judith Helfand will attend.