This winter, Yale Union and Northwest Film Center will present a series of documentary films that record how material and immaterial goods are produced and distributed. A few of the films were commissioned by companies to represent select interests, but the majority were made by filmmakers with an imperative to record and scrutinize goods as we don't see them - in the process of their becoming. An object is always more than what it it: a brick is never only a brick, an egg never merely an egg. It travels through georgraphy, laborers, political ideologies, machinery, social configurations, and carries forward a history (mostly obstructed), belonging first to those who produced it, and later to those who bought, used, sold, or consumed it.
Central to the program is the insight that with the advent of cinema, the world became visible in a whole new way, and still most films take place in that part of life where we are left to believe that work does not exist, in that part of life where goods appear as if they were immaculately conceived. These films consistently work against this lack of representation and describe the politics, processes, facilities, locations, and durations of how things are made and transported.
Most of these films are regarded as examples of contrary and aggressive political filmmaking. Arguments, if you will. And no argument of any kind has its complete meaning alone. Its significance, its validity, and the appreciation of its complexity is the appreciation of it in relation to the arguments around it. You cannot admire or deride a film alone; you must set it, for contrast and comparison, among its neighbors.
Visit www.YALEUNION.org for screening dates and times.