Director: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Producer: Julie Parker Benello, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert

Editor: Lindsay Utz

Cinamatographer: Steven Bognar, Aubrey Keith, Jeff Reichert, Julia Reichert, Erick Stoll

Music: Chad Cannon



 

American Factory

Wisconsin Premiere • documentary • USA • 2019 • DCP • 113 MIN

section: American Visions

Fuyao, a China-based automobile glass manufacturer, opened a factory on the site of a defunct General Motors plant in Dayton, OH in 2014. A billion-dollar company, Fuyao offered thousands of jobs to Dayton citizens, providing them the opportunity to resume their careers after the Great Recession led to the GM closing six years earlier. Working alongside transplanted Chinese labor and supervisors, the entire staff of the Fuyao factory are faced with a significant culture clash. At first, the problems seem not insurmountable as the “chatty” American workers begin working side-by-side with their less casual Chinese counterparts, but tensions rise as safety hazards increase and low wages become standard. Attempts at organizing and demanding better conditions are thwarted by the staunchly anti-union Fuyao management. Things are then made more difficult when the threat of automation seems to portend more layoffs. American Factory, a powerful and gripping new documentary filmed over several years, observes the struggles at Fuyao from the inside and from both sides. Directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar are provided full access to all of the key players for this relevant story about increasing Chinese economic dominance and its effect on the American working class. Directing Award, U.S. Documentary Competition, 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (JH)