Thursday 13th May. Doors open: 6.30pm. Film starts: 7pm.
WEA (59 Gloucester Street), Otautahi/Christchurch.
As the National Government seeks to mine the pristine conservation lands of Aotearoa in the name of ‘economic development’, a reminder of the effects of mining is needed — not just on the workers and inhabitants of the communities in question, but it’s wider environmental impact. AN INJURY TO ONE provides an absolutely compelling glimpse of a particularly volatile moment in early 20th century American labor history and the effects of mining on the community of Butte, Montana.
The Anaconda mine in Butte has become the largest environmental disaster site in the United States. It’s open pit is a cocktail of contaminated materials: a century after the era of intensive mining and smelting the area around the city remains an environmental issue. Arsenic and heavy metals such as lead are found in high concentrations in some spots affected by old mining, and for a period of time in the 1990s the tap water was unsafe to drink due to poor filtration and decades-old wooden supply pipes. AN INJURY TO ONE looks at this disaster through it’s history of labour struggle — the mysterious death of Wobbly organizer Frank Little and the Speculator Fire of 1917. Much of the extant evidence is inscribed upon the landscape of Butte and its surroundings. Thus, a connection is drawn between the unsolved murder of Little, and the attempted murder of the town by a company in search of profit.
Archival footage mixes with deftly deployed intertitles, while the lyrics to traditional mining songs are accompanied by music from Bonnie Prince Billy, Jim O’Rourke, The Dirty Three and Low, producing an appropriately moody, effulgent, and strangely out-of-time soundtrack. The result is a unique film/video hybrid that combines painterly images, incisive writing, and a bold graphic sensibility to produce an articulate example of the aesthetic and political possibilities offered by filmmaking in the digital age.
“An astonishing document: part art and part speculative inquiry, buzzing with ambition and dedication. Takes us from the 19th century to the eve of the 21st, from Butte as land of frontier promise to Butte as land of death and environmental destruction. Travis wields avant-garde graphics and archival ephemera like a lasso, and his shots of modern-day Butte are allusive still-lifes that defy time and place. This is stirring, must-see stuff.“— Austin Chronicle
Lite refreshments and childcare will be provided, so come on down and join your local anarchists as part of our monthly film nights at the WEA! Zines and more will also be available on the night.
For more information contact:
otautahianarchists (at) gmail.com