Documenting the Decline of the Urban Working Class: The Films of Tony Buba
Independent documentarian Tony Buba chronicles the decline of former steel town Braddock, Pennsylvania, after U.S. steel mills closed and moved their operations overseas in the late 20th century. Buba’s focus on local blue-collar workers and other citizens reveals the impact that national decisions had and continue to have on ethnic and racial communities in the Pittsburgh area. Experimentally surreal and humorous, while expressing compassion for and political commitment to the working class, Buba’s films show how cities once central to America’s steel industry experience the devastating legacy of those decisions. Critic J. Hoberman called Buba one of the few regional filmmakers “to successfully and unsentimentally peel off the national smile button.”
This series is a part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Themester 2015: @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet and is sponsored by the Department of History, Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Documentary Research and Practice, and IU Cinema.
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