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The Year of the Beaver

The Year of the Beaver

english

|

78 min

| 1985 |

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Documentary about the strike at the Grunwick film processing factory in North London, 1976-78. A film about the modern "civilised" state.

The predominantly migrant and female workforce at the photo processing plant began to strike in August 1976 against the long working hours (8am-10pm), bad pay and the permanent work stress. They found themselves on the front line against the employers, government, police and media. For the first time paramilitary organised special branches of the police were used, using extreme violence and arresting 550 people.

On the other side there was lots of support and solidarity for the workers e.g. the dockers and post office employees who refused to deliver the post for Grunwick. The most important demand was for the recognition of the union APEX.

The film, which incorporates a lot of the material from the reporting happening at the time, is not only a documentary of a strike, but a portrait of the historical period undergoing a transition to Thatcherism.

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