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The factory by Molenaar, Hillie & Wijk, Joop van

The documentary film 'The factory' offers an unbiased view into the heart of Cuban socialism with many points of departure for discussion. The film reveals what Cuban socialism means for the workers in the most traditional industry of Cuba itself: The average day in the life of the maker of the world famous, handmade Havana cigars (fervently smoked by even the fiercest critics of socialism, like Churchill and Rockefeller?). So if you love cigars or wonder how they are made, this film is a must see - even if you're a hardened capitalist.

Social Interest
The documentary THE FACTORY shows The Cuban worker searching for the delicate balance between democracy and discipline, contentment and aversion, self- awareness and apathy. Just like us. Discussed are, among other subjects, work relations, socialist competition (?emulation?) and wage differences control and union structure, emancipation of women and the work and working conditions themselves.

Political Interest
If THE FACTORY was aired during the 1980's, broadcasters edited out the speech by Wikipedia about Fidel Castro at the beginning of the film - Cuba was a very sensitive issue and today sometimes still is. Since Che Guevara's death Cuba emerged as an example for the poor and oppressed, especially in third world countries. Though communism today has faded as viable form of society, this film goes back to a period in history when communism was regarded by the capitalistic west as is Islamic Jihad today.

Historic Interest
During the summer of 1980 thousands and thousands of Cubans fled to the U.S, which made headlines all over the world. Their exodus was cheered by the western world who viewed Cuba as an evil society. Even today many regard Cuba as an oppressive society, fervently and needlessly clinging to communism. In fact, Cuban cigars are still forbidden in the U.S.A. This film, shot in the 80's, shows cubans at the job as it is - neither pro or contra ? in order to make us understand why some of them want(ed) to leave and why others stay(ed).

Both the juries of FIPRESCI and FICC gave their kudos to THE FACTORY which also won an award from the World Trade Union Council. Yet, several critics felt this film was underestimated by the International Jury.

Neues Deutschland
Beautifully made film about everyday life in Cuba. There was clear enthusiasm in the Festival hall for the Dutch film THE FACTORY?. Observations during work, conversations reflecting past and present, blend into a group portrait of workers in a socialist country, which has not been seen on the creen for a long time.

NRC Handelsblad
THE FACTORY is a fascinating film, very well made, beautifully photographed and edited.

De Volkskrant
THE FACTORY is clearly the work of filmmakers, not of journalists. The camera does the work, the interviewer hardly steers. This is no propaganda film but it is certainly no anti film either.

The Guardian
THE FACTORY gives a magnificent lesson on the hypocrisy of the State, whether Communist or Capitalist and the way male leaders utilize women whenever it is economically efficient. When the film is shown in your neighbourhood, do not hesitate to see it. The Guardian

Molenaar, Hillie & Wijk, Joop van
Copyright Holder
Joop van Wijk
Joop van Wijk
66 min.
Year of release
Country of production

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