Wapping Dispute film – showing in Hackney on Monday

Some friends are showing this film:

Despite The Sun: Wapping and the Print Unions (Film/Video, Spectacle, September 1987)

on Monday 10th of June at 7pm in Pogo Cafe, Clarence Road, London E5 8HB

“All welcome, there will be a short discussion afterwards and comrades who were involved in the dispute are especially invited to come and share their experiences.”

About the film:

In January 1986 Rupert Murdoch moved News International, publishers of The Sun and The Sunday Times, from Fleet Street to Wapping in East London. Over 5,000 print workers, clerical staff, cleaners and secretaries were sacked in one day. Despite the Sun is a montage and eyewitness account of the year long dispute which shook the newspaper industry.

Produced from the point of view of the residents and print workers we see the effects on Wapping residents harassed by the police, Murdoch’s lorries and cavalry-like horse charges on the picket lines. Ownership and control of the press is discussed, media access, and impact of the so called ‘new technology’.

One of the first camcorder activist tapes, it sold over 400 copies and was ‘bootlegged’ (with the blessing of the producers) by the pickets and sold on picket lines. This is an historical account of a dispute that’s effects will be felt for many years to come, one that was over-simplified by the media at the time.

“The video knows that one telling image is worth a thousand words and sequences like the riot dressed mounted police trotting through Wapping to the homely reassuring tune of East Enders and the sheer boredom of daily picketing caught in a collage of images set to choral music, mean you can all but smell the vile fumes of TNT diesel.”
Nigel Willmott, The Tribune

Despite the Sun is … I think one of the most gripping pieces of political documentary to be made in this country in the last 50 years, it’s a phenomenal piece of work. They all went scooting round through people’s houses and so on to get stories that the national media weren’t getting, and it’s a fabulous piece of work. So it was very important aesthetically as well as in terms of its politics.”
Sean Cubitt (Professor of Film and Communication, Goldsmiths)

More info on Wapping at Libcom.

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