American Dream

Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 7:00pm
Barbara Kopple won an Academy Award for her cinema vérité documentary on unionized meatpacking workers at Hormel Foods in Austin, Minnesota. The workers went on strike in 1985 when Hormel cut the hourly wage from $10.69 to $8.25 and cut benefits by 30% despite posting a net profit of $30 million. The film features footage of union meetings and press releases, news broadcasts, and in-depth interviews with people on both sides of the issue, including Jesse Jackson. (19, 16mm film print) The films in the Human Rights at Home series address pressing issues in Chicago and the Greater Midwest such as police brutality, and problems facing union workers, the urban and rural poor. The series demonstrates the importance of framing such problems in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that violations do not only occur outside the United States.

Co-sponsored by University of Chicago Human Rights Program and the Franke Institute for the Humanities.