American Dream

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"The award-winning film of American lives, American courage, and the..."
  • PG-13
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.8  (1,003)

American Dream is a 1990 documentary film that follows the events leading up to and the aftermath of the 1985 Hormel strike in Austin, Minnesota. The film chronicles the experiences of the workers at the Hormel meatpacking plant as they fight against the company's decision to cut their wages by 23 percent. The workers' strike lasted for over a year and was one of the largest strikes in the United States in the 1980s.

The film offers a glimpse into the personal lives of the workers and their families as they struggle to make ends meet during the strike. It also examines the political and economic climate of the time and how it impacted the workers and their union.

At the heart of the film is the story of the strike's leader, P-9 president Ray Rogers. Rogers becomes a central figure in the film and is shown leading the charge against Hormel's management. He is depicted as a charismatic and passionate leader who is willing to do whatever it takes to stand up for his members.

The film also features appearances by civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and labor leader Juan Munoz, both of whom offer their support to the striking workers. Jackson helps to draw attention to the strike on a national level and brings in a sense of solidarity between the Hormel workers and the larger labor movement.

Throughout the film, the viewer sees the tension rise between the workers and the company. Hormel management is portrayed as cold and uncaring, more concerned with profits than the well-being of their employees. As the strike drags on, it becomes clear that the workers are fighting not just for their own jobs but for the future of the American labor movement as a whole.

One of the most powerful moments in the film comes towards the end when a group of striking workers travels to New York City to confront the Hormel board of directors. The workers are shown standing outside the board meeting, holding their signs and chanting, while inside, the executives refuse to meet with them.

The film ends on a somewhat bittersweet note, with the workers ultimately returning to their jobs but still facing an uncertain future. The strike may have ended, but the larger issues of economic inequality and the struggle for workers' rights continue.

Overall, American Dream is a compelling and thought-provoking documentary that offers a glimpse into the heart of the American labor movement. It is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that workers have made in the past and the ongoing struggle for social justice in America.

American Dream
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (1,003)