I just watched COUP POUR COUP (BLOW FOR BLOW) (1972, Marin Karmitz, A+) from a videotape. I like it very much. One thing that I love in this film about striking female workers is the use of sound and soundtrack. The toxic sound in a factory in this film is very unbearable. I wonder what the sound of this film would be like if I saw this film in a theatre. It would be very loud and could assault the ears of the viewers very forcefully. The soundtrack of this film is also very good. It makes the film more exciting. The soundtrack of this film somehow gives me the same excitement that I have when I watch a thriller.
There is a female voiceover in COUP POUR COUP. I like what she said to the evil factory boss very much, so I quote it here:
“You thought that we were only women
But you were forced to give in.
Agnes and Colette will stay with us.
Things will be different now. We will have a say.
Your foremen aren’t so arrogant. And for good reason!
No more of your secret negotiations.
You’ll have to accept what we impose.
We know you haven’t swallowed your sequestration.
We know you’ll try to fire workers.
You and your press cried scandal.
YOU CALLED ON THE LAW. BUT YOUR LAW IS TO SEQUESTRATE WORKERS FROM THE MOMENT THEY ARE HIRED UNTIL THE END OF THE TUNNEL, WHERE THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS GROW.
OUR LAW IS JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE.
IT’S A KNIFE TO YOUR THROAT.
You’ll try to eliminate what you call the troublemakers.
Don’t forget that your great victory is the unity we forged with our own strength.
Unity with our husbands, who are now aware of our struggle.
Unity with other factories.
OUR FIGHT HAS SPREAD. AND MAYBE, ONE DAY, IT WILL END IN BLOODSHED.
DON’T FORGET, THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT YOUR MEASURES.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS WHAT HAS CHANGED IN OUR MINDS.
WE HAVE TAKEN THE RIGHT TO SPEAK, TO TAKE ACTION.
RIGHTS THAT YOU BOSSES HAVE DENIED US, TO MAKE US MORE SUBSERVIENT.
AND WE SHALL FIGHT FOR THOSE RIGHTS WITH VIOLENCE, TO CONQUER THEM, TO KEEP THEM UNTIL THE DAY YOU DON’T HAVE ANY MORE. “
After seeing COUP POUR COUP, I think I would like to see some more films about laborers, especially the German films directed by Christian Ziewer. I have never seen any films by Christian Ziewer. I wish someone organized a Christian Ziewer retrospective in Bangkok soon.
Some information about films directed by Christian Ziewer from New York Times website:
1.DEAR MOTHER, I’M ALL RIGHT (1971)
“This German docudrama explores the ins and outs of a strike in a West Berlin factory. The story concerns a locksmith who, on the recommendation of his employment agency, comes to Berlin to interview for a job in the factory. The job has nothing to do with locksmithery; however, it is in the transport section. As a result, he is in an even testier mood than his disgruntled co-workers, and when the strike is near to being settled he wants it to continue. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide”
2.SNOWDROPS BLOOM IN SEPTEMBER (1976)
“In this combination documentary/drama, the domestic lives of two factory workers are fictionalized within a documentary treatment of events on the job during a wage dispute in early ’70s West Germany. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide”
3.WALKING UPRIGHT (1976)
“Dieter Wittowski (Claus Eberth) is a factory worker who is suddenly put out of work by a strike. When he gives a newspaper interview to a reporter and makes comments supporting his co-workers, his words are edited out of shape into a form which seems to place the issue into a native-Germans versus guest-workers context. When he tries to correct things, he finds that this distortion by the newspaper accurately reflects the views of his family and co-workers, who considered him a sort of hero for saying those things. When the strike fails, he is left with an issue of conscience about whether to return to the job. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide”
4.SEE THIS LAND FROM AFAR (1978)
“A family of Chilean socialists living in West Germany, refugees from the coup which toppled Salvador Allende, attempt to survive on the few jobs which are open to them. In the story, the father has just been fired from his job because of his politically unreliable, i.e., socialist, background. The son of the family comes to the rescue by taking a job as a stockroom boy. His father strives mightily to get his job back, so that the boy can remain in school. In the meantime, the boy has made friends with a Greek socialist refugee and has found a German girlfriend. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide”
5.THE DEATH OF THE WHITE SEED (1985)
“This somewhat superficial historical drama is about the 1525 Peasants’ War in Germany when the lower classes rebelled against oppressive conditions imposed by the clergy and nobility and then committed many acts (including atrocities) that did not morally set them far apart from the people they were fighting. It was a time of upheaval: Martin Luther (1483-1556) had broken away from the Catholic Church, calling for reform, and Anabaptists in Germany, like Thomas Munzer fought on the side of the peasants (opposed by Luther). This complex age and its political and religious turmoil are summed up in a story about an attack on a small monastery whose monks used a forged document to confiscate some land from the peasants. When their wrong-doing is revealed by the monk who forged the document in the first place, the peasants attack. While the peasants wait for the heralded arrival of their warrior-savior on a white horse to bring justice to their cause, their fortunes go from bad to worse as the nobility gear up for revenge. This epic story might have been better served if director Christian Ziewer‘s budget had not been cut, forcing economic measures that have an effect on both depth and continuity. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide”
This is an image from the DVD of DEAR MOTHER, I’M ALL RIGHT