From Dawn to Sunset (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #2 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 2: Capitalist Realism CD-ROM (Voyager). Also, film #567 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

An idealistic portrayal of the "typical work day" of the typical worker at the Chevrolet plants in cities around the nation. First the all male workers kiss their wives goodbye and leave for work, while a chorus sings about "the beginning of a perfect day". Then they work for a little while (but not long). This "typical work day" happens to be payday, so there's a very long sequence of workers in each city where there's a Chevrolet plant getting paid and then going to the local stores and buying stuff. That's right––for each city you see a "Welcome to..." sign, hear the city's anthem sung over a few shots of the city's main attractions, then you see long lines of workers at the Chevrolet plant getting paid (they all seem to be handed generic paychecks), then you see them shopping in the local stores and buying lots of stuff, with a heavy emphasis on local specialties (workers in Baltimore buy crabs, workers in Janesville, Wisconsin buy cheese, etc.). The final sequence shows the workers going home, saying "hi" to their wives and kids, and going to bed, while a chorus sings about their "perfect" lives and how happy they are. This film was made right after a big sitdown strike at Chevrolet which finally ushered in unions. That alone should tell you how realistic the film is. Of course, the filmmakers seem to conceive of "perfection" mainly in terms of shopping: the workers get paid! So they can, like, buy stuff! What more could they want? A capitalist dream, or nightmare, depending upon your point of view.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

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