Watch The Willmar 8
- 51 min
The Willmar 8 is a documentary film that was released in 1981. This movie is based on the true story of a group of women who staged a protest for equal rights in the workplace. The film primarily explores the lives of these women and the events leading up to the protest. The story of The Willmar 8 starts in 1977, in Willmar, Minnesota. A group of female employees at the local bank grew frustrated with their working conditions, which included lower pay and fewer opportunities for advancement than their male colleagues. Discontented, they decided to go on strike and protest for equal differences. This group of women became known as The Willmar 8.
The Willmar 8, made up of eight women in their 30s and 40s, were all married, with families to support, but they felt that they had no other choice but to speak up for themselves. They organized secret meetings after work to plan their protest, all while maintaining their regular jobs at the bank.
The documentary features interviews with the women, as well as footage from their protests and rallies. The women were met with resistance from the bank and the community, and many people criticized them for their strike. The Willmar 8 were compared to other feminist groups of the time, like the National Organization for Women, and were often dismissed for being "housewives."
However, the women continued to speak out, and the protest gained national attention. The documentary includes news clips from major news outlets like CBS and NBC, who covered the story. Despite initial pushback, the protests ultimately had an impact: the women won a case against the bank and secured better pay and benefits.
The Willmar 8 is not just a story about a group of women fighting for equal rights in the workplace, it's a story about the power of collective action. The film showcases the support these women received from other activists, both male and female. It also highlights the importance of organizing and having a strategy in any movement for social change.
The documentary is a snapshot of its time, and viewers can see the fashion, music, and culture of the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, it remains relevant today, as workplace inequality and discrimination against women are still issues.
Overall, The Willmar 8 is a well-crafted documentary that tells an important story. It's a reminder of the progress that we've made in the fight for gender equality, but also of how much further we still have to go. The perseverance, courage and unity displayed by the women is truly remarkable, inspiring and a lesson in unabashed independent spirit.
The Willmar 8 is a 1981 documentary with a runtime of 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.