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THE KILLING FLOOR
1984, Film Movement, 118 min, USA, Dir: Bill Duke
Bill Duke’s feature debut, which premiered on PBS’ American Playhouse series in 1984 to rave reviews, tells the little-known true story of the struggle to build an interracial labor union in the Chicago stockyards. The screenplay by Obie Award-winner Leslie Lee, based on an original story by producer Elsa Rassbach, traces the racial and class conflicts seething in the city’s giant slaughterhouses, and the brutal efforts of management to divide the workforce along ethnic lines, which eventually boiled over in the Chicago race riot of 1919. Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Farina and Moses Gunn star in the film, which won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award. “THE KILLING FLOOR is part of our nation’s history – a fascinating and bloody episode in the history of the U.S. labor movement … a powerful, personal drama.” – Marilyn Preston, Chicago Tribune.
Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of the Sundance Institute Collection.