Perestroika from Below (a film by Daniel J. Walkowitz & Barbara Abrash ) chronicles a 1989 trip made by a group of labor historians to Donetsk, Ukraine after the first mass strike in the USSR since the 1920s. Prepared to videotape interviews with retired workers, they unexpectedly gained access to the coal miners who had just concluded their historic strike.
PERESTROIKA FROM BELOW presents the miners' story through their own voices. With passion and remarkable candor, the strikers - often Communist Party members - express their dissatisfaction with their corrupt union, providing sharp contrast to the propaganda films edited into this program. At the workers' last meeting, miners challenge their long-time union boss on vacations, housing, even refrigerators. Demanding accountability, workers attack their leaders for abusing privilege. When they show little remorse, the miners take action.
Panel Discussion Featuring:
Daniel J. Walkowitz (New York University)
Olga Linkiewicz ((Polish Academy of Sciences))
Malgorzata Mazurek (Columbia University)
Tarik Amar (Columbia University)
For more information on the film, please see: http://icarusfilms.com/cat97/p-s/perestro.html