Force at Work

    • set 21 items

    In the era of the gig economy, automation and ‘McJobs’, our relationship to the idea of ‘making a living’ is changing. From unionization, production, worker’s rights, slavery, emotional labor, universal basic income, here you will find films that delve into the pressing questions around the nature of work – in theory and in praxis.

    Items in this selection

    Angels on Diamond Street

    • Petr Lom
    • 2019

    With a sympathetic eye, filmmaker Petr Lom follows life at the soup kitchen of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. He records what happens when an undocumented Mexican family asks for sanctuary at the church.

    Balolé, the Golden Wolf

    • Aïcha Chloé Boro
    • 2019

    The laborers at a quarry in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso live and work in appalling conditions. Nevertheless, this is a film full of hope: driven by optimism and solidarity, the miners unite to negotiate a better salary.


    • Ilya Povolotsky
    • 2019

    A stylishly filmed portrait of a small, idiosyncratic community at the edge of the world. Whether stoical, rebellious or humble, the Russian protagonists determinedly chart their own course.

    Good Ended Happily

    • Basir Mahmood
    • 2019

    What happens if you leave the filming to others? Artist Basir Mahmood asked a film crew from the Pakistani film industry in Lahore to unleash their imaginations on the Special Forces operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed.


    • Camila Freitas
    • 2019

    Over the course of four years we follow a group of members of the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, as they fight for agricultural land so they can build a better future for local people.

    Last of the Mohicans

    • Max Ploeg
    • 2019

    The mobile supermarket in this heartwarming portrait is run by Tonny, a doggedly determined woman who will stop at nothing to help her needy neighbors, even when she’s struggling with her own huge debts.

    Last Whispers

    • Lena Herzog
    • 2018

    Extinct animals can be stuffed and displayed, and vanished civilizations leave ruins, but when a language is no longer spoken, nothing remains but silence. This immersive VR production is a monument to languages that are in danger of disappearing.

    Men Are Hungry Too

    • Gabriele Licchelli, Andrea Settembrini, Francesco Lorusso
    • 2019

    Nostalgic images shot in square format blend the past and present of two Italians, who were challenged with escaping the poverty of their region decades ago. One left, the other stayed behind, but both were marked by their choice.

    Midnight Family

    • Luke Lorentzen
    • 2019

    There are just 45 public-run ambulances operating in Mexico City. Private ambulances, such as the one run by the Ochoa family, offer a lifeline for this huge metropolis. We closely follow the family over a series of intense, nerve-wracking nights.


    • Kylie Boltin, Matt Smith
    • 2019

    When an Australian girl was abducted in 1966, the police called on two Aboriginal trackers to find her in the densely covered hills. In this interactive true crime web documentary, the story is told from the perspective of the girl and one of the trackers.

    Movements of a Nearby Mountain

    • Sebastian Brameshuber
    • 2019

    On an abandoned industrial site in the Austrian Alps, a lone mechanic prepares used cars for export to his home country of Nigeria. A serene portrait of a person who seems to find peace within himself, without resigning himself to his fate.


    • Sung-A Yoon
    • 2019

    How do you protect yourself against sexual harassment? How do you react to an abusive boss? In the Philippines, prospective housekeepers participate in role-playing games to learn how to deal with their wealthy and demanding future employers.


    • Lucy Parker
    • 2019

    Investigations and interviews reveal shocking practices in the British construction industry, which for years kept a secret blacklist of workers who complained about working conditions. Multiple voices bear witness to an ongoing struggle for justice.


    • Simón Uribe Martínez
    • 2019

    Builders, rescue workers, engineers and curious day trippers each have their own view of the absurdity of a deadly road and an unfinished bridge in the jungle. The local community is paying the price for political arrogance.

    The Season When Velvet Antlers Get Ripe

    • Galina Leontieva
    • 2019

    In the Russian Altai Mountains, reindeer herders earn their living from the trade in antlers. Korean customers swear by their medicinal properties. Meanwhile, the herders complain that they lead a life of “slavery” in a declining economy.

    The Whale from Lorino

    • Maciej Cuske
    • 2019

    A keenly observed portrait of the remote town of Lorino, in the far northeast of Siberia. Endangered whales are still hunted here, due to tradition but mainly out of bitter necessity.

    They Call Me Babu

    • Sandra Beerends
    • 2019

    Alima worked as a nanny in the former Dutch colony of Indonesia. Her story plays out against the backdrop of World War II and the struggle for independence, and is complemented by unique footage from various archives.

    Waiting for the Carnival

    • Marcelo Gomes
    • 2019

    This portrait of an enterprising Brazilian town where almost everyone manufactures jeans is also the travelogue of filmmaker Marcelo Gomes. He knows the town from a distant past, and alternates nostalgia with a sense of realism.


    • Daniela König
    • 2019

    The independent-minded Khawla leads a group of women plumbers in Jordan. The cheerful and refreshingly frank atmosphere between the women comes under threat when she faces trial on corruption charges.

    Worker’s Ordinary Day

    • Ahmet Öğüt
    • 2019

    Where fighter planes once stood, people now laze under palm trees. Ahmet Ögüt shows the absurdity of a hangar converted into a Tropical Islands resort by focusing on the man who gives hot air balloon tours—indoors.

    You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing

    • Florence Lazar
    • 2019

    The use of pesticides on banana plantations on the Caribbean island of Martinique has polluted large areas of land. Local people counter this toxic crisis by implementing new ways of land use, rooted in traditional local knowledge.