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The Nothing Factory

  • Directed by Pedro Pinho
  • Portugal, 2017, 177 mins., Portuguese/French

Based on the true story of Lisbon workers taking over an elevator factory threatened with closure, Pinho’s fiction debut is at times hilarious and at times somber, yet is always an urgent portrait of labor at a crossroads. Featuring many convincing performances by non-actors (many of them factory workers), the narrative weaves together tactics of organized struggle, personal dramas and lighthearted moments of camaraderie, and the making of a documentary on the workers’ plight— finally settling in as a strange type of musical. Shot on grainy 16mm, The Nothing Factory is an insightful film of the current historical moment, all the more poignant for its focus on real people and situations in what many call a “post-work” society. In Portuguese and French with English subtitles.

Filmography: Um fim do mundo (2013)

Reviews: Cinema Scope, Filmmaker, The Guardian, Hollywood Reporter

Interviews: Cineuropa (video)