[Protest- camera roll excerpts] - Unknown

Rental Format(s): Digital File

Maker: Creators unknown
Production: Paramount News
Original format: 35mm sound film 1.20:1
Technical Note: Sound begins slightly into film at 1:56 minutes.
Courtesy: National Archives

The main title card reads: :"Conflict between police and strikers near the South Chicago plant of the Republic Steel Co. Memorial Day, 1937." An apt and concise description of what is to follow except it refuses to acknowledge that the police are shown to beat, open fire and kill the gathered strikers, all vividly depicted in real time. The film has become a historic monument to rebellious workers the world over but perhaps more significantly presents a prime example of the ability of cinema to capture images of the world with synchronized audio. By today's standards, this unique document may seem passé, but the invention of sound on film recording and its novel use by filmmakers rattled the foundations of the moving picture experience. Yet many decades were yet to pass before easy to use hand-held sound film cameras were developed and put into action to catch "life unawares" as seen in the Cinéma vérité movement of the 1960s and beyond with the introduction of cellphone devices. -Bruce Posner

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