Cultures collide in Netflix’s new documentary, American Factory, which arrives this August.
Nabbed by the streaming giant at Sundance this year for a reportedly cool $3 million, the film follows the aftermath of a Chinese billionaire re-opening a former General Motors plant in Ohio and hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans – but early days of hope and optimism soon give way to setbacks.
Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, the film explores how the Fuyao factory meant jobs for those who were left high and dry by the recession, but also spelled a collision of profoundly different cultures, from the chatty American workers to the low wages being set by the international company, not to mention the threat of automation to job security.
A microcosm of American labour versus Chinese economic power, the film will be released worldwide by Netflix on 21st August. Here’s the trailer:
Sundance: Netflix nabs American Factory for $3 million
2nd February 2019
Sundance may be in its final weekend, but Netflix is still stepping up its festival spending spree, with a second deal closed in as many days for one of the fest’s new documentaries.
How on the heels of acquiring political documentary Knock Down the House, Netflix has now nabbed American Factory in a deal reported to be worth $3 million. Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, the culture-clash portrait follows a factory opened by a Chinese billionaire in a former General Motors plan in Dayton, Ohio. The Fuyao factory meant jobs for those who were left high and dry by the recession, but also spelled a collision of profoundly different cultures, from the chatty American workers to the low wages being set by the international company, not to mention the threat of automation to job security.
A microcosm of American labour versus Chinese economic power, the film premiered at Utah’s Prospector Square Theater last Friday in Sundance’s US Documentary Competition. Produced by Bognar, Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello, it’s backed by Participant Media, which was behind Oscar nominee RBG, which premiered at Sundance in 2018, and also Netflix’s Roma. The streaming giant, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary with Icarus in 2018, will be hoping for similar success with American Factory, with Bognar and Reichert’s previous film, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Academy Awards.
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