City Paper is not for tourists
The latest edition of the annual “Labor Film Festival” might as well be titled the “Ken Loach Film Festival.” Of course, no directors are more dedicated to tales of working-class life than Loach. The British filmmaker will appear on opening night to present the U.S. debut of his latest drama, It’s a Free World. Written by longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, the movie is about a woman who’s fired from a recruitment agency for her off-hours behavior; she and her roommate then open their own makeshift agency, catering to new immigrants who are eager to work. The fest will offer seven other Loach films, including Riff Raff, a 1990 construction-worker saga that was one of the first British films to depict the ethnic diversity of contemporary blue-collar London, and Bread and Roses, which is about Latino office cleaners in Los Angeles and the man who tries to organize them. In addition are Loach’s tales of laborers at full-blown war in 1930s Spain (Land and Freedom) and 1920s Ireland (The Wind That Shakes the Barley). Three new non-Loach attractions are Strike, Volker Schlöndorff’s account of the Polish union shipworkers’ solidarity; Hula Girls (pictured), in which young Japanese women turn to grass skirts to help save a mining town; and Outsourced, the saga of a Canadian man who’s sent to India to train his own replacement. The series runs from Thursday, Oct. 11, to Sunday, Oct. 14, at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $9.25. (301) 495-6700; see afi.com/silver/new/ for a complete schedule.