“Solidarity! All for One and One for All!”
Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changed the course of American history. This compelling documentary of the IWW (or “The Wobblies” as they were known) tells the story of workers in factories, sawmills, wheat fields, forests, mines and on the docks as they organize and demand better wages, healthcare, overtime pay and safer working conditions. In some respects, men and women, Black and white, skilled and unskilled workers joining a union and speaking their minds seems so long ago, but in other ways, the film mirrors today’s headlines, depicting a nation torn by corporate greed.
Filmmakers Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird weave history, archival film footage, interviews with former workers (now in their 80s and 90s), cartoons, original art, and classic Wobbly songs (many written by Joe Hill) to pay tribute to the legacy of these rebels who paved the way and risked their lives for the many of the rights that we still have today.
Filmmaker Deborah Shaffer will join Peter Biskind, Crandell Theatre board member and Executive Director of FilmColumbia, for a discussion and Q&A after the screening.
“The Wobblies is a history of the IWW, researched lovingly and corroborated by the reminiscences of some of the union’s former members. When the facts are presented as fully as they have been here, the feelings that accompanied them aren’t difficult to imagine.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times
Stewart Bird, Deborah Shaffer