Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

The Grunwick Strike: The Year of the Beaver + Q&A

Saturday 20th May, 2023

The Electric Cinema Screen 1 | 13:00 - 15:10

Programmed by Selene’s Archive

This screening and panel discussion centre around the Grunwick Dispute, a two-year strike at a photo-processing plant in North London.

Selene’s Archive will screen Steve Sprung’s 1985 documentary The Year of the Beaver. The essay film explores how the workforce of a film processing laboratory in Willesden formed of predominately Asian women, most of whom had only recently arrived in the UK as a result of being expelled from East Africa, were led by their former colleague, Jayaben Desai to take strike action. It also charts how the Grunwick dispute was an important landmark in the history of British industrial action, and the role of unions during the rise of Thatcherism.

Journalist Taj Ali, who specialises in reporting on trade unions, will join us for a discussion after the screening, exploring the idea of unified ‘class struggle’ through the lenses of gender and race, presenting an opportunity to discuss the union as an institution and the resurgence of the labour movement in Britain.

Founded by Maria Paradinas, Selene’s Archive is a project investigating archival practice as it relates to histories that have been destroyed, mis-recorded or obscured.

Dir. Dave Fox, Steve Sprung, Sylvia Stevens
UK, 1985
78 mins

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required