Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, The (1980)

“We’d never had any opportunity to do that kind of work.”

Synopsis:
When soldiers return home after World War II, women doing vital work in factories are asked to leave.

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Review:
Countless documentaries have been made about World War II — especially since the debut of the History Channel on cable — but Connie Field’s The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter remains unique. Filmed at a time when many former “Rosies” were still alive and able to remember their experiences during the war, Riveter showcases first-hand interviews with women who experienced both a unique opportunity to learn “men’s work”, and a devastating loss of empowerment soon thereafter. Field is especially adept at showing how the American propaganda machine churned out rhetoric meant to make women feel guilty during the war if they didn’t contribute to the workforce, and guilty afterwards if they hoped to keep the jobs they’d grown to enjoy.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Judicious use of both archival footage and contemporary interviews

Must See?
Yes, simply for its importance as a valuable cultural document.

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