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TO SEPT. 9
Why don’t the protagonists of Hollywood movies have jobs? And why do such characterseven the ones who supposedly are financially desperatelive in million-dollar houses and drive $50,000 cars? It’s not mentioned in the Motion Picture Association of America ratings guidelines, but work is one of Hollywood’s greatest taboos. The DC Labor FilmFest offers a small corrective, with storiesboth documentary and docudramaabout janitors, assembly-line workers, and other bystanders in the “new economy.” Included are several fiction films, including Bread and Roses, British director Ken Loach’s half-believable tale of love amid L.A.’s Justice for Janitors campaign (at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at AFI); Human Resources, a naturalistic drama about a French management trainee caught between his new job and his family’s blue-collar heritage (at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at La Maison Français); and La Ciudad, four overly sentimental but sometimes moving tales of Latin-American immigrants in New York (at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at AFI). The documentaries include Secrets of Silicon Valley (pictured), a provocative look at the high-tech industry’s exploited low-tech workers (at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at AFI); Life & Debt, which considers globalization from the viewpoint of low-wage Jamaican workers (at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at AFI); Live Nude Girls Unite!, which documents the nation’s first unionized peep-show dancers (at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at AFI); and At the River I Stand, an account of the sanitation workers’ strike that sparked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final trip to Memphis (at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at AFI). To Sunday, Sept. 9, at the American Film Institute’s National Film Theater in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States, and the Embassy of France’s La Maison Français, 4101 Reservoir Road NW. $7-$25. (202) 234-0400. (Mark Jenkins)