The Wobblies

1979, Documentary, 1h 29m

11 Reviews 100+ Ratings

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Movie Info

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.

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Critic Reviews for The Wobblies

Audience Reviews for The Wobblies

  • Oct 08, 2007
    An excellent introduction to the IWW, both its history and its working philosophy. I would say this is fair and unbiased in its presentation, but I know that anti-IWW folks would probably disagree. Possibly the greatest point of disagreement would be that the IWW is presented as a group who did not participate in as many violent actions as they are often accused of. Now because I wasn't personally on hand for every single event in which the IWW participated, it would be hard to verify this as truth, but my stateside grandfather, who was an original Wobblie and a member of the IBEW, often talked about how claims of IWW violence were exaggerated by management and government for political purposes. Me? I believe my grandfather.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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