The Killing Floor

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The Killing Floor

  • 1985
  • Directed By: Bill Duke
  • Rated PG
  • Drama
  • 118 Minutes
  1. Thursday, September 6, 2012 9:30 p.m.
  2. Friday, September 7, 2012 6:30 p.m.
Image of the Chicago Stocyards from the film The Killing Floor
The Killing Floor explores the conflicting loyalties of African-American stockyards workers in Chicago during the First World War. Starring Damon Leake and Moses Gunn, the story pits a black worker who joins an interracial union against his rival who believes that blacks must look after themselves. Based on impeccable historical research into the lives of actual stockyard workers, this powerful docudrama won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award and was invited to Cannes.
(16mm presentation)


Since the birth of the medium, filmmakers have made the struggles of ordinary people for workplace justice a central theme in the cinema. From the early films of Eisenstein to the contemporary work of John Sayles and Ken Loach, work and workers have captured the visual imagination of moviegoers. These films offer historical and contemporary depictions of struggles among the working class. The screening is sponsored by Bloomington Jobs with Justice, IU Labor Studies Program, Latino Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies Program, Black Film Center/Archive, Department of History, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Alex Lichtenstein, Associate Professor, Department of History.