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Icarus Film
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provocative documentary films
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From the dGenerate Films Collection
We the Workers
A film by Wen Hai
Produced by Zeng Jinyan
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Shot over a six-year period (2009-2015) in the industrial heartland of south China, a major hub in the global supply chain, WE THE WORKERS follows labor activists as they find common ground with workers, helping them negotiate with local officials and factory owners over wages and working conditions. Threats, attacks, detention and boredom become part of their daily lives as they struggle to strengthen worker solidarity in the face of threats and pressures from the police and their employers. In the process, we see in their words and actions the emergence of a nascent working class consciousness and labor movement in China.

"One of the most important Chinese language documentaries of recent years."Chinese Visual Festival

"On the front lines of China's record-level labor unrest, Wen's film offers rare insight into how such collectibe action is planned and organized, and how hard NGO employees try to stay within the moving goalposts of what activism is permissible in China."CNN

"Reveals and supports the birth of collective action stripped of an ideology that long stifled it."Cinéma du Réel

"Takes the viewer to the front line of labour relations in China."The Times (UK)

"Shot with long takes and a fly-on-the-wall feel, the film deals with workers’ attempts to stand up to employers."Hong Kong Free Press

"Detailed, intimate and at times terrifying."South China Morning Post

"A detailed depiction on labour activists’ fighting for rights on wages and working conditions... a ‘must-see’."Eastern Kicks

"Captures the vital elements of labour organizing...delivers a new form of partisan filmmaking." V Cinema

"This extraordinary film transports the audience to the world of labor organizing in China. It rightly puts the protection of workers' rights back in the hands of workers and the labor non-profits that support them. It should be required viewing for anyone wishing to gain an insight into China's emerging labor movement."Dr. Tim Pringle, Senior Lecturer in Labour, Social Movements and Development, SOAS, University of London

World Premiere, International Film Festival Rotterdam
Cinéma du Réel Film Festival
San Diego Asian Film Festival
Chinese Visual Festival UK
Buenos Aires International Film Festival (BAFICI)

174 minutes / color
Release: 2017
Copyright: 2017
Sale: $350

In theaters now!

Subject areas:
Asia, Asian Studies, China, Economics, Labor, dGenerate Films Collection - Documentaries

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The Iron Ministry: Filmed over three years on what will soon be the world's largest railway network, traces the vast interiors of China on the move.

Three Sisters: Three little sisters live alone in a small village in the high mountains of the Yunnan region. The little girls don’t go to school, spending their days working in the fields or wandering in the village.

'Til Madness Do Us Part: The daily lives and isolation of a group of men locked on one floor of a Chinese city's psychiatric institution.

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Last Updated August 23, 2017
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