Catch it if you can (or Tivo). A good examination of the struggle of workers to keep working - taking over factories after they are shut down, and continue to produce.... profitably! An amazing story - that continues as you read this - for the <i>right to work</i>.
THE TAKE - Broadcast Premiere in Canada
SPECIAL TWO HOUR SPECIAL:
8pm on CBC-TVThursday March 24, 2005, the anniversary of the 1976 military coup in Argentina.
It repeats on the Passionate Eye Sunday, April 3 at 10pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld.
The Take Filmmakers Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein (Author of No Logo) urge the international community to support the workers of the Zanon factory in their ongoing struggle.
On Monday March 21st, hundreds of people from around the world flooded the offices of Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and other Argentine politicians with faxes and phone calls in support of the Zanon workers. The "Telefonazo" or "Fax Attack" was the latest action by a growing international network of activists who support the Zanon workers' struggle to keep the factory under democratic worker control: it remains the largest occupied factory in the world.
Although the coordinated fax and telephone campaign was for a three hour window Monday the 21st, people are still encouraged to send expressions of support for the Zanon workers to the politicians who have the power to cease the repression and intimidation, and let the workers work in peace.
At http://www.hellocoolworld.com/thetake/grassroots/Action is a sample letter addressed to President Kirchner, Governor Sobisch of the province of Neuquén and Judge Barreiro. If you can, take a few minutes to read and personalize it, always maintaining a respectful tone. Respectfully let them know that you support the cause of the Zanon workers, insisting that they guarantee the human rights of the workers and return their factory to them. This is the responsibility of President Kirchner, through the Secretary of Human Rights, of Governor Sobisch, and the Judge Barreiro.
A great spin-off from the campaign was a spike in the signatures to the Zanon support petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/zanon/petition), which is now well over 20,000 and headed up by the hour. This petition has been formally entered into the court record in the ongoing legal case surrounding the Zanon factory.
Those who had already signed the petition, include Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and intellectuals, artists and citizens from more than 75 countries in every continent. Since Monday's action, more well-known activists have joined the cause, including feminist hero Marilyn French and author John Holloway, and Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha.
I've seen this. Very interesting and enjoyable, and I hope they do a full-scale update/sequel. When I saw it last fall, I already had the sense that events had moved on, so I'd guess the whole thing will feel a little dated now. Still worth watching, though.
That's amazingly harsh, Skyhook. I agree that the Take is heavily slanted, but that's what I expect in any "documentary." I also would agree that the filmmaking is not top-notch; in my case I found that there was an irritating (but not fatal) "look at us, we're Canadian and progressive" attitude.
As for the phenomenon documented: you can view these people as thieves and squatters (the view taken by the factory owners and politicians shown in the film), but personally I find that a stretch when those "owners" will do nothing but shut the gates and cart away the machinery, claiming profits are impossible. If squatters can put in their own sweat and toil, buy their own materials, find their own customers, and turn a modest profit, then just what are they stealing, and from whom? (As for your question about credit, I saw the film six months ago so I don't remember for sure, but I thought that was in fact discussed.)
What I found most interesting about it is that unlike so many other socialist-utopian propaganda pieces, it looks at an example of an actual attempt to do something positive -- not just protests, riots, fantasies, but direct action with a nonviolent, productive purpose. I found it hard not to find that refreshing.
let me get this off my chest
i haven't seen "The Take", but i figured is an english spoken version of "Grissinopoli", which i did see, and really liked, so that's why i encourage to watch "the take". ( i will try to watch "the Take", to see how bad it really is).
but..." thieves and squaters", ???? . on Grissinopoli, the workers were owned several months of wages, these scenario applied to most of the workers at most of the "turnaround" factories in my country, and the owners were trying to take the machinery and evacuate the premises to sell and "pay" the workers with the proceedings ( that is royal BS, and if you been to Argentina you would agree with this stament).
So maybe, in "the take", the workers were thieves and squaters, but i'm gonna take my chances anyway and still call you an "Ar$$e". just for the "thieves and squaters" part.
"il mondo è grigio il mondo è blu"
Wow, SkyHook, you seem to have some pretty strong feelings on the matter...
"The Take" was not a great film - I agree. From a gender perspective, for example, the film notes that the first occupation was done by female textile workers... women who are given only a tiny bit of screentime comparatively. There also was the bare presence of the wife of one of the fellows involved in the occupation, who was supporting the man and their child... she was the epitome of the "new woman" in Latin America. She's worth a mini-doc all by herself.
One moment that for me was worth the entire film came as the workers took their petition for ownership to the city legislature in Buenos Aires. One worker, a man in his late 40s or 50s, called his father to tell him that it looked like the city was going to give them the factory... and he was literally moved to tears with the realization that their struggle was actually going to be successful, that they had fought the good fight, and -probably for the first time in the history of man- were going to get a just reward.
Beyond that... the film ended far too soon. Kirchner has since proven to be an astute politician who has signed an amazingly good deal with foreign creditors (he renegotiated the country's debt, and creditors accepted a 70% loss on their investment). I don't know what he's done regarding the occupations, per se, but he does seem to be fairly progressive.
Finally.. the name. "The Take". WTF? It reminds one of the phrase "on the take," which is not what this is about at all. The film seemed rushed to release. Naomi and Avi are not known as the deepest thinkers, but "The Take" does bring the issues of worker's rights, globalization, and foreign investment into the light for discussion. Similar occupations have even happened here on Canada's east coast, in the fish-processing industry. The central thesis is very much worth discussing: When a company is given tax concessions to set up, given government handouts, may even negatively impact on the environment, and then - when market condition get a little dicey - close the doors and ship the productive machinery to another town / country, what obligation is due the community?
I'll give "The Take" credit for pushing the discussion. It's worth seeing, but it is not - by far - the definitive examination of worker's struggle in Argentina.