Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 592

it at meetings and people loved it. Obviously our members are going to love it because it's about them. Why shouldn't they? You know, it's all about them. But I remember showing it at a meeting of SEIU. There were a lot of workers in the audience but they were, stewards and that kind of thing. I tell you there were sections of that documentary where there wasn't a dry eye in the house, they were so moved by it.

So, I don't know how to sum up this thing. It has its place, that's all I can say. It's not the end. I tell you this, it would be very very difficult to replicate Bread and Roses again in the future.

Q:

Why?

Foner:

First of all it's terribly expensive, it set such a standard of quality. Second of all, I don't see an administration coming in to power that would encourage this kind of thing.

Q:

In the hospital workers' union.

Foner:

I don't mean in the hospital workers union, I mean in the government, in Washington, to help it with funds. I don't see a labor movement that -- there are many reasons for that. It's expensive and labor has its own emphasis. BUt with labor talking about new directions and new things, that's an area that they ought to think about. They don't have to do a grandiose thing, but they ought to think about doing certain things in it. The problem they have -- you always have this when you get to culture -- you invariably end up with stuff that begins to challenge them.

Q:

Because the left has always played such a leading role in culture.

Foner:

That's right.

Q:

I have a theory.

Foner:

By the way, one of the things that's happened in labor is film. But here too there was a difference of opinion! The outfit that's in Washington that's part of the AFL-CIO --

The arm of the AFL-CIO that puts out the films and the t.v., you know them. We had a run-in with them. Larry Kirkman, K-I-R-K-M-A-N. Larry Kirkman called me and he said, “I'd like to meet with you. I hear you've done some things in this field and I'm meeting with everybody to find out what to do.” Now Larry Kirkman came from professional work. He had been in Washington, he had been around the country in professional working film and television. But he made it clear to me right at the beginning, “We're not interested in making a labor



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help