American Factory

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Stranger Says: This feature-length documentary is the first work to emerge from Netflix’s partnership with the Obamas. The former president and his wife have a company, Higher Ground Productions, that finds and/or produces content for the California-based media distributor. American Factory is just amazing. It concerns a Chinese corporation, Fuyao Glass, that opened in Moraine, Ohio, a factory that makes glass for vehicles. The plant was abandoned by General Motors during the crash of 2008. In the Obama-produced doc, we not only see the comic and tragic clashes of two very different labor and management cultures, but a process that is actively shaping the world today. This is the American factory of tomorrow: lower wages, less benefits, higher production, no unions. Nevertheless, many of the American employees are just happy to have a job. As wages in China go up, wages in the US are going down. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

SIFF Says: In this Sundance award-winning documentary, high-tech China clashes with working-class America when a Chinese billionaire repurposes a defunct GM plant in Dayton, Ohio, and hires 2,000 blue-collar workers, only for the two sides to struggle finding common ground.

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Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
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