//`The Take' zooms in on workers

`The Take' zooms in on workers

The curtains came down on `Human Rights in Frames’ on Friday. The Tri-Continental Film Festival was brought to Chennai by Breakthrough in association with the Indo-Cine Appreciation Foundation. The organisation, which is trying to `build a human rights culture’, had brought in a selection of award-winning cinema of resistance. Predominantly made by Western filmmakers, the films review globalisation, the shifts in power it creates and violations of human rights in countries around the world. `Civil Struggles’ was the theme of the inaugural session.

In `The Take’ (2004), Canadian filmmakers Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein document the revolution that unemployed workers bring about, taking back abandoned factories. Around 15,000 workers are now working in the `recovered’ or expropriated factories that shut down after Argentina’s economic collapse early in the new millennium. Tracing the economic policies that led to the collapse, the film zooms in on workers in an auto parts factory and details the manner in which they became a part of the `National Movement of Recovered Factories’ with the slogan `Occupy, resist, produce’.

The movement is a coalition of factories that were set back on stream by workers dispossessed of livelihoods when their bosses decided to pack up and leave. It was instrumental in bringing legislation protecting the factories that had become profitable from being taken back by former owners.

`Thirst’ (2004), directed by Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow, followed the debate around water being made a commodity in Bolivia, India and the United States. The film documented how the `world’s most valuable resource’ was inspiring new movements against globalisation. Mr. Snitow, interacting with the audience after the screening, said interest in the issue of water cut across all lines of age, class and political belief.

Desalination was being proposed as a technological solution to an issue that demanded a social response, he said.

J. Malarvizhi, CHENNAI, Hindu