Union Maids (1976)

Union Maids (1976)

“I learned that you can’t go anyplace unless you go together.”

Three women active in the American labor movement reflect back on their lives and the legacy of their activism.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Documentary
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues
  • Labor Movements

This Academy Award-nominated documentary by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, and Miles Mogulescu — selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2022 — features interviews with three women (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods):

… who were profiled in the labor history book Rank and File by Staughton and Alice Lynd. At under an hour long, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome, instead remaining an engaging archive of reflections from key players-on-the-ground interspersed with archival footage. Because all three interviewees are women — one black, two white — we get to hear about what the labor movement was like for (at least a few) women, and some of the ways in which racial tensions were at least temporarily overcome. This documentary remains worth a one-time look, though it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • A powerful set of oral history remembrances

Must See?
No, but it’s strongly recommended.


One thought on “Union Maids (1976)

  1. (First viewing 1/28/21).

    A once-must, for its historical importance. It’s on YouTube, so it’s easy-enough to find. A short, effective, informative series of interviews with three very engaging women.

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