Poster and still from "The Organizer"

Global Labor Film Festival 2019 —”The Organizer”

Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 pm

The Primo Maggio celebrations continue with the showing of the 1963 international award-winning film The Organizer, with an introduction and discussion by the former owner of Montpelier’s Savoy Theater and film historian, Rick Winston.

The film is about the rise of labor protests in Turin’s textile industry at the turn of the last century. Workers are fighting for higher pay and for a safer workplace, but their protests seem to have no result whatsoever until an intellectual, Professor Sinigaglia (Marcello Mastroianni), helps the workers to mount a strike. From that moment the professor becomes a target of the police. He is no longer an intellectual — he is an organizer, a social agitator and a potential public enemy.

The film was directed by Mario Monicelli, who was known as a maker of light comedies. In The Organizer, he created an expression of the necessity of collective action that is both gritty and entertaining. In making this period piece, he  strove for the utmost realism, casting the film with actual workers and shooting on location in one of the area’s huge textile factories. In this 2006 interview, he discusses his choice of locations and actors.

The drama premiered at the 35th Congress of the Italian Socialist Party and received an Oscar nomination for the Best Original Screenplay. The film is in Italian with English subtitles.

Admission is FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments available. (Donations are cheerfully accepted.)

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