The Foreign Policy In Focus Annual Summer Film Series concludes with a showing of Maquilápolis, winner of Outstanding Achievement in Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival. Please join us and our two guest speakers Sarah Anderson, Fellow and Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, and Manuel Perez Rocha, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Maquilápolis is a documentary about (and by) workers in Tijuana’s assembly factories, the maquiladoras. The project is a collaboration between filmmaker Vicky Funari, artist Sergio De La Torre, and Tijuana women’s organization Grupo Factor X, with the participation of the human rights organization Global Exchange and the environmental activism non-profit The Environmental Health Coalition. Maquiladoras are the multinationally-owned assembly plants which dominate the economy of the U.S.-Mexico border region, employing over a million people. Carmen is one of these people. She works the graveyard shift, six nights a week, in Tijuana’s Panasonic factory. After making television components all night, Carmen comes home to a shack she built out of recycled garage doors, in a neighborhood with no paved streets, no sewage lines and no electricity. A single mother, Carmen takes care of her three children all day, and if she’s lucky she sleeps for an hour or two before heading off to work again. At 29, she suffers from kidney failure and anemia resulting from her years of factory work. Carmen earns six dollars a day. This unique documentary tells the story of globalization from the personal perspectives of Carmen and a dynamic group of Mexican maquiladora workers who together are working towards creating liveable solutions to the complexities of life in a globalized city. The film meets women who are each dealing with the hardships of environmental toxins, labor rights abuse, infrastructure and housing issues, and women’s rights. Maquilápolis approaches the workers as experts who can provide us with keys to our common future, inviting them to co-author their own story on videotape.
The FPIF film series is co-sponsored by Busboys and Poets Restaurant and the Progressive Intern Network.
Calendar of Films:
Taxi to the Dark Side
Best Documentary – Academy Award
Thursday, July 3
Speakers: Farrah Hassen, Newman Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
and Andy Shallal, Iraqi Voices for Peace and Owner of Busboys and Poets
Best Documentary – Philadelphia Film Festival
Friday, July 11
Speaker: Marcus Raskin, Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
Nominated, Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary – Sundance
Friday, July 18
Speaker: Sanho Tree, Fellow and Director of Drug Policy Project, Institute for Policy Studies
Body Of War
Best Documentary – Hampton International Film Festival and Best Documentary – National Board of Review
Friday, July 25
Speaker: Geoff Millard, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary – Tribeca Film Festival and Audience Award for Best Documentary – Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival
Thursday, July 31
Speakers: Sarah Anderson, Fellow and Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and Manuel Perez Rocha, Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
Foreign Policy In Focus is a network for research, analysis and action that brings together more than 600 scholars, advocates and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington.
For more than four decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. It is a progressive multi-issue think tank.