The Washing Society
Les Blank Lecturer
Interweaving narrative, documentary, and performance art, filmmaker Sachs and playwright Olesker chronicled the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the intimate labor that takes place there. Interviews and choreographed scenes detail the exploitation of the largely Chinese- and Spanish-speaking New York workforce, while a “ghost” from the Washing Society, a labor organization of African American laundresses, chronicles their strike for better wages in 1881. A stark yet poetic vision of working lives that are chronically unrecognized emerges as the film deftly moves between the past and present to investigate the intersection of underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.
Prior to the screening, Sachs will present the sixth annual Les Blank Lecture, an event in memory of the beloved local documentary filmmaker. She will also appear at Other Cinema and San Francisco Cinematheque with Film About a Father Who.
And Then We Marched
Lynne Sachs, United States, 2017
The first Women’s March in 2017 is intercut with other key protests.
E•pis•to•lar•y: Letter to Jean Vigo
Lynne Sachs, United States, 2021
How do play and protest turn to chaos and violence?