Labor Day: Movies To Celebrate Workers
Meta: A review of the best movies to remember the real reason behind Labor Day.
Whilst Labor Day signals the end of the summer and a return to early mornings and late nights for many students across the USA, one should remember that this federal holiday was created for more than a picnic, barbecue and the chance to show off your best white clothing. It is the opportunity to remember all the valuable workers and hopefully instill some of that hard work into your kids before the new school year kicks off.
Movies to watch for Labor Day
Gung Ho a 1986 classic about the dramas that occur when a Japanese firm purchases an American factory. It follows the negotiations that the plant managers must undertake between the foreign liaisons and the American workers, the comedy starring Michael Keaton, Gedde Watanabe, and George Wendt is an oldie but definitely one to introduce your children to the importance of communication within the workplace.
Roger and Me is a documentary, detailing the brutal crisis that occurred when the GM plant was closed in Flint Michigan. This caused 30 000 employees to be instantaneously jobless and had vast repercussions for the city, ranging from a rise in lawlessness to a rampant increase in general poverty levels amongst city members.
If traveling back in time is your thing, or your family is full of history nuts, the Grapes of Wrath must be recommended. Based on the novel by John Steinbeck, the 1940 movie illustrates how a farmer and his family are pushed off their farm; they then embark on a journey to California in order to start a better life. However, the era of the Great Depression had something else in mind for them and thus portrays the hardships endured by workers, the complete lack of hope that is faced at times due to prevailing conditions and the workers unfailing spirit to survive and achieve the American Dream.
For a more modern movie, might I suggest I don’t know how she does it for a fresh, comedic take on the perils of modern life for the modern family? Following Kate Reddy an important financial director and the main income earner for her family, while juggling a family, two children and an ever-expanding career. Something light-hearted but reminding us how the current labor market is evolving; according to changing family structures and broader opportunities for all.
There are however plenty of movies to choose from, don’t feel compelled to watch documentaries if you are more of a comedy type, Legally Blonde counts as a Labor Day movie, but there are plenty more movies to watch in order to contemplate the role of the workforce within society and the world at large. You can even have a brainstorm with your family afterwards and talk about labor and where it’s going, how do you feel about the robots in the workplace and how has work changed.
In order to truly get into the spirit, build a fort together, set up your very own concession stand at home, invite the neighbors over to watch with you and ensure everyone remembers that the most important thing we can do on Labor Day is to celebrate the workers and good, honest, hard work. Right before we stock up on stationary and begin the battle for curfew, bedtimes and early mornings, because let’s just face it, that’s going to take some guidance.
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Image link for Gung Ho poster:
Image link for Grapes of Wrath poster:
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