WHEN WE FIGHT
A documentary film about the Los Angeles educators' strike of 2019, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it.
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WITNESS FIRST-HAND HOW AND WHY EDUCATORS IN THE SECOND-LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE COUNTRY GO ON STRIKE.
Their schools are overcrowded, underfunded, and in a few years, they may not exist: the new superintendent of the Los Angeles school district is unveiling his plan to privatize the public schools. But then 98% of L.A. teachers vote to go on strike. Witness five months of behind the scenes organizing by teachers, students, and parents as they come together to fight for public education in L.A. When We Fight goes behind the picket lines to show, in the banner year of teacher strikes, how strikes are organized, and why they matter.
In the wake of Covid-19, Los Angeles was the first school district in the U.S. to announce that all teaching will be remote and physical school sites will remain closed when the school year resumes this Fall.
Why was LA first? Because teachers, students, school staff and parents in L.A. pulled off the largest citywide educator strike in modern American history just last year, and that kind of organizing has long-lasting effects. So this summer, when L.A. educators said they were against reopening unsafe schools, the district listened quickly.
Now, as teachers across the country consider striking to protect their students, families and schools, the documentary film When We Fight provides a unique look behind the scenes of one of the largest teacher strikes in modern American history, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it.
Years of organizing and six schooldays of striking won smaller class sizes, a nurse in every school, anti-racist school police reforms, and more. A year later, as Black Lives Matter protests reshape the country, LA teachers, students and parents continued their racial justice organizing and won a 35% reduction in school policing, another continuation of the anti-racist school police reforms they won during their strike.
And it's not just L.A. More educators have gone on strike in the last two years than have in a generation.
So when we saw 34,000 educators in the second largest school district in the U.S. preparing for a strike, we started filming. We filmed from strike vote to contract vote, documenting the democracy and mass participation in the strike, from school cafeterias to rain-drenched picket lines.
Now we're almost ready to show you the film, so we're asking for your help.
If you have the means, any contribution you make will have a huge impact on the film as we make final edits, record the soundtrack, mix the sound, grade the colors, and make Spanish subtitles and closed captions for deaf and/or hard of hearing audience members.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, CA. She produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC. Most recently she produced Saving Capitalism starring former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, which was nominated for an Emmy Award in Business and Economics. As Director of Productions at Inequality Media, Yael has made numerous viral videos that tackled complex political issues and gained over 200 million views on social media. She is currently working on a film about the resurgence of socialism in America. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School.
Yoni Golijov is a producer at Praxis Films, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras’s production company, and he was a consulting producer at Field of Vision. Most recently, he produced on Laura Poitras's collaboration with Forensic Architecture, Triple-Chaser, exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, 2019. Previously he produced on Poitras’s film Risk (2016), which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and her short film Project X (2016), Sundance Film Festival 2017. At Field of Vision he consulted on short films including Academy Award-nominated In the Absence (dir. Yi Seung-Jun, prod. Gary Byung-Seok Kam).