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View other events for the week of 8/16/2009
South Bay Screening Of "Workers Dreams" From Vietnam
Date Sunday August 16
Time 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location Details
San Jose Peace Center
48 S 7th St # 101
San Jose, CA 95112-3544
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorLabor Video Project
On 8/16 in at the San Jose Peace and Justice center there will be a screening of "Workers Dreams" from Vietnam. This important documentary is the first film on the lives of Vietnamese women who are working in the electronic industry which is controlled by foreign multi-nationals. These women mostly from rural areas come to Hanoi with dreams and find out the reality of working for Japanese owned Canon in Vietnam.

San Jose Premier Screening

8/16 Screening Of "Workers Dreams"

The Labor Video Project Presents A

South Bay Screening And Discussion of "Workers Dreams"

Sunday August 16th 3:00 PM

San Jose Peace Center

48 S 7th St # 101

San Jose, CA 95112-3544

$5.00 Donation Request(no one turned away from lack of funds)

For information call


Workers Dreams (50 min.) 2007 Vietnam

By Tran Phuong Thao (With English subtitles)

Thousands of young women now work in foreign owned factories in Vietnam for approximately $2 a day. This film shows the lives of these young rural women who end up in a Japanese Canon factory in the Hanoi area. Hoping to make a new life with many consumer goods around them they are ground up in the capitalist system and their dreams and illusions about the new Vietnam are crushed.

Journalist Bill Snyder will give a presentation about the film and his trip to Vietnam.

Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172

Flash Forward 75 years to Vietnam:A Review Of Tran Phuong Thao Film “Workers Dreams”

By Bill Snyder


In 1934 the life of a San Francisco longshoreman was dangerous, poorly paid and insecure. Getting a day’s work often meant paying a bribe; and if a man was hurt, that was his problem. Unemployment insurance? Never heard of it.

Flash forward 75 years to Vietnam: Early every morning, lines of men and women trudge into the heavily guarded free-trade zone on the outskirts of Hanoi to work at foreign-owned electronics factories. Their pay? About $60 a month. And like the workers in 1934 San Francisco, getting that job generally means paying a bribe.

It’s not called a bribe, of course. Factory recruiters scour the still-impoverished countryside for workers willing to pay as much as a full-month’s wages to the equivalent of a temp agency in exchange for a job. What’s more, many of the jobs last for just a few months, and come with few benefits and an unresponsive, government-controlled union.

Vietnamese filmmaker Tran Phuong Thao spent months documenting the lives of three young women who worked at the Canon plant in Hanoi. Her 50-minute film, “Workers Dreams,” is not a polemic. The young women speak for themselves. We get to know them as they prepare for work, cook meager meals, and search for edibles in the rice paddy just outside the factory gate.

There’s a lot of anger in this movie, but for me, the most poignant moment takes place in a Hanoi mall. Two of the women have gone there to shop a bit -- they can’t afford much -- and splurge on the treat of the week: A single can of Coca Cola.

There is, of course, a terrible irony in their situation. Few people on earth have fought longer and shed more blood for freedom and independence than the Vietnamese. But Vietnam is not a country where wealth is shared or dissent permitted.

One unusually outspoken and politically aware woman in the film put it this way: “We went from working class heroes to cogs in the machine.” She was later fired and was living on the street late in 2008.

Tran Phuong Thao graduated from Ha Noi’s College of Foreign Trade. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and a Master’s degree in Documentary filmmaking in Poitier, France. Ms. Thao has directed 3 other documentaries: Women’s Affairs for the Women’s Associate of Poitier; A Hazard, submitted to the 5-Continent Film Festival 5/5, produced by the Belgian production company, Dragon Film Co.; and A Letter to Dad, her senior’s thesis film for the DESS in Poitier.

Added to the calendar on Sunday Aug 9th, 2009 9:41 AM
§PDF Of 8/16 South Bay Screening Of "Workers Dream" From Vietnam
by Labor Video Project Sunday Aug 9th, 2009 10:31 AM
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