Watch Anytime • Virtual Screening Room: THE KILLING FLOOR
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THE KILLING FLOOR
Available to your home theater through the Olympia Film Society
Streaming tickets now available!
Praised by The Village Voice as the most “clear-eyed account of union organizing on film,” The Killing Floor tells the little-known true story of the struggle to build an interracial labor union in the Chicago Stockyards. The screenplay by Obie Award-winner Leslie Lee, based on an original story by producer Elsa Rassbach, traces the racial and class conflicts seething in the city’s giant slaughterhouses, and the brutal efforts of management to divide the workforce along ethnic lines, which eventually boiled over in the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. In 1985 the film was invited to Cannes and won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award. It has been showcased at the Lincoln Center and festivals around the world. New 4K restoration.
Content Warning: slaughterhouse scenes
Dir: Bill Duke / 1984 / US / 118 min
“A revelatory historical drama that offers a powerful template for social analysis in fiction.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker
“The Killing Floor is a truly compelling, blistering, and vital historical document. Powerful, hard-hitting, but still exceptionally and tenderly crafted.” — Jen Johans, Film Intuition
“The Killing Floor is a marvelously acted and incisively nuanced exploration of how racial and ethnic divisions have been historically used to break up labor organizing. It’s an instant essential discovery, the kind of film I hope someday plays in classrooms to teach kids about parts of our country’s past that some teachers neglect to mention. Needless to say, it’s even more necessary viewing in an era when simmering tensions in our history are boiling over.” – Nathan Smith, Nashville Scene