Body of Work

Starting this year, Doclisboa presents the Healthy Workplaces Film Award Selection in partnership with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. This selection aims at annually presenting an overview of the way cinema reflects upon key issues concerning labour relations. To mark the start of this partnership, we present a programme that crosses several moments of our recent history, comprising different insights and work

Opening Session
23 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 65’
30 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

A housing estate once more becomes a battlefield as strikers and police clash. After the failure of the last strike, workers are faced with the choice between action and apathy. The film observes a mining community through the prism of ethnofiction as it negotiates the decline of the same industry that enabled its emergence. A long period of deindustrialisation affecting the whole region gives way to a decaying landscape of pitheads and slag heaps.

24 OCT / 18:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 82’
25 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

One of the rooms inside the legendary Barba Azul Cabaret has become a shelter for the girls working there: the women’s bathroom. Every night, La Mami, who’s in charge of the bathrooms, offers them the warmth and advice they need to take on the challenge they face in the dance hall. They remind us that alliances are crucial when the society in which we live is constantly judging and stigmatising us.

25 OCT / 18:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 79’
31 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

The Kiosk is a filmed newspaper of a young plastic artist who came to lend a hand to her mother, a newspaper saleswoman in a chic district of Paris. Her family members have been following each other behind the cash register for nearly a century and observing the world as it goes. From the discovery of the profession to the complicity that is forged with the clientele, the director plays the merchant, as in an old childhood dream. But the press is in crisis and, with the passing of the seasons, her little game turns out to be less fun than expected.

26 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 75’
27 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

Valerie, Lili and Isabella, all 19 years old, work as interns in a workshop for painting restoration located in Baden-Baden. It’s their first step into working life after school. They have one year to find out whether to be a restorer or not. While working they discuss subjects as art, friendship, family and naturally work itself. The film shows these personal reflections and gives insights into the craftsmanship of restoration.

27 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 88’
28 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

What do a farmer in Kansas, a laid-off factory worker in Ohio and an Uber driver in Florida have in common? All three are resourceful, positive thinkers who strive to adapt and thrive despite dehumanizing forces at play in the American economy. As the film’s heroes face these roadblocks with courage, certain ideals remain sacred: family, love, and staying strong in the face of adversity. Ultimately, The Disrupted reveals a collective American experience of financial challenge, family resilience, and the quest for the purpose and dignity of work.

28 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 110’
29 OCT / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

A small town in western Germany is the last stop for 26,000 pigs per day and a temporary home for masses of Eastern European temporary workers. The workers of the largest slaughterhouse in the country are fighting for survival, while German activists who stand up for their rights are fighting against the local authorities. At the same time, Munich high school students are working on the play Saint Joan of the Stockyards and trying to grasp the old text and German capitalism of our days.

29 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 110’

One kilometre underneath the North Yorkshire coast, salt miners and research scientists work side by side at the edge of the biosphere. A young woman finds a new future in the darkness of this extreme environment.

30 OCT / 19:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 82’
1 NOV / 15:00 / Cinema São Jorge

What is the value of work in the age of the digital revolution? At Audi, 20-year-old Seda sorts car parts on the assembly line for robots. She dreams of her own Mercedes-Benz, and has no desire to find a husband and have children. 30-year-old Eva likes to ride her bike to work. As a headhunter working for Audi, she is looking for experts to automate their logistics. Eva wants to live with her girlfriend in the Caribbean and not work any more at all. She knows her own job will be replaced by algorithms. Two representatives of a generation for whom work is neither a certainty nor a source of identity.

31 OCT / 18:00 / Cinema São Jorge / 93’

Communist ideals have long lost their value in Yiwu, a city where 600 factories produce Christmas as we know it for the entire world. With rising factory wages, most workers can now afford the newest iPhones, but they still live in crowded factory dormitories, all migrants in their own country. Stuck between Chinese traditions and the newly discovered Chinese dream, they want their own businesses, they want to be rich, to be independent, to be in love.