Doclisboa online: Body of Work

From the first factories to today's concept of ‘work’ in a globalised world, work in all its various forms has been recorded by films since the very beginning of cinematography. Learn how our relationship with work has changed over the last few decades. Our curated program Body of Work supplements the thematic section at the now ongoing Doclisboa festival.

Work has been at the heart of public debate this year with the widespread implementation of lay-off and work from home, and especially the spectre of an economic crisis that has already thrown millions into unemployment. The distinction between essential and non-essential work, too well-known to those who work in the cultural field, spread out to the whole society, exposing the contradictions in the system. With this in mind, it is particularly suitable to reflect upon the space work has in our lives, but also upon the boundaries of what we define as work.

Together with the Doclisboa festival, we proudly present a unique look into the phenomenon of work as seen through the art of film. We’re diving deep into the very beginning of cinema, all the way to 1895 when the Lumière brothers first recorded factory workers leaving to go home for the day. This milestone in film history inspired Harun Farocki to make his film Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades. "In this program, each film, and the many connections we can draw between them, raise questions about work. How we define it, how it defines our lives and our relationships, how we need to work and how we long to escape it. From the birth of cinema in Workers leaving the factory to the death of the California Company Town, film has stood at the gates of factories, including in that rare defining moment when a worker stands tall and refuses to go back in Reprise," describes the selection Amarante Abramovici, one of the Doclisboa programmers.

The new Body of Work programme forms a part of the current Doclisboa festival, which is being held partly in Lisbon and online from 22 October until 3 November. All films will be available to watch until 3 November while select titles will be included in the permanent DAFilms catalogue.

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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