United Steelworkers Local 3657 To Screen Moundsville To Foster Better Conversations About Politics, Economics
Pittsburgh, PA– United Steelworkers Local 3657 will screen the documentary film Moundsville for its members, the international union’s technicians, auditors and administrative assistants, over two days, March 20 and 21, 2019 and host a conversation with co-directors John W. Miller and David Bernabo.
“Many of our members and retirees live in communities struggling to establish new economic identities after factories and manufacturing jobs disappear,” says Tony Montana, a member of Local 3657 who facilitated the screening for USW. “As we begin to prepare for the 2020 elections, I think we can learn from the conversational approach John Miller and David Bernabo have taken in the documentary film, Moundsville, which examines the history and culture of a West Virginia town not far from here – but is unmistakably set in Donald Trump’s America.”
“I think the film really succeeds by letting the people of Moundsville tell their own stories,” says Montana. “They reveal what’s important to them, and we learn that they are far more than the caricatures of bigotry, bitterness and anger that we expect to find in a place where Trump received more than 70 percent of the votes in 2016.”
“Screening at USW fits squarely in the evolving social mission behind the movie,” says Miller. “There’s been too much talk about what people in small towns think about Trump, and not enough talk about the reality of what’s happened in those places, and the shape of their future economies. Healing divisions starts with a shared narrative based on reality.”
Moundsville is the economic biography of a classic American town, from the prehistoric burial mound it’s named after, through the rise and fall of industry, to the age of WalMart and shale gas, and a new generation figuring it all out. Told through the voices of residents, the story covers an arc that includes Moundsville’s Native American origins, white settlement, Marx toy plant (it made Rock’em Sock’em robots), legendary prison, first African-American mayor, post-industrial decline, and current small businesses. The constant is the 2,200-year-old mound left behind by a Native American people, a Greek chorus reciting time’s insistence on change. By reckoning with deeper truths about the heartland and its economy, without nationalist nostalgia, liberal condescension, stereotypes, or talking about Trump, Moundsville plants seeds for better conversations about America’s future.
USW Local 3657 represents the technicians, auditors and administrative assistants employed by the United Steelworkers international union to support and serve its 1.2 million active and retired members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Members are located throughout the country in district offices and at the USW International headquarters in Pittsburgh. Improving the way we individually communicate about important issues with the members we serve as well as each other will only strengthen our collective voice and make us more effective advocates for fairness, equality and dignity for all workers.
For more information call John W. Miller at 412-298-0391 or Tony Montana at 216-308-4798