27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Woodcutters of the Deep South
director: Lionel Rogosin
original title: Woodcutters of the Deep South
country: United States
running time: 85 min.
synopsisRogosin’s last feature documentary deals with a seemingly peripheral issue – problems of founding trade unions of workers in the woodcutting industry in the American Deep South. Nevertheless, two topics concur in this film, so typical of Rogosin’s entire body of work: an interest in marginalized groups of people subjected to the pressure of government institutions, economic corporations and the legacy of cases of historic injustice. Yet social status of hired woodcutters, no matter if black or white ones, in a remote area of the US, thanks to common interests, opens up a possibility of spanning the wide gap of racially conditioned prejudices.
“In 1972 I heard a vague rumor from Francis Walters about a unique group that had sprung up near Montgomery, Alabama. It was an organization of black and white sharecroppers who also cut down white pine trees for the paper companies on a freelance basis. Although historically antagonistic to each other they somehow joined together to form a cooperative.”
biographyLionel Rogosin (1924–2000) was an American independent documentarist for whom filmmaking had become a part of a widely perceived political activism. He led Bleecker Street Cinema in NYC and became a cofounder and, along with Jonas Mekas, among others, also a member of the New American Cinema movement.
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