Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged working class

Last Train Home

The establishing longshot of this documentary tilts down to show a few policemen in an open, paved space. Slowly the camera pans left, and the entire frame fills with thousands of people standing in a drizzle. Many hold bright, pastel-coloured umbrellas. It’s a beautiful image. The following shot, from ground level, shows that huge crowd rushing in pandemonium past the camera into a train station. These two shots are emblematic of the film: beauty and chaos inextricably interwoven.

The Book Bindery

I just read a wonderful interview with the great poet Martin Espada, in which he talks about the beauty found in writing on all kinds of subjects. Espada himself has worked as a bouncer, a gas station attendant, and everything in between. His words immediately rang in my mind as I sat and devoured Sarah Royal's anecdotes on working in an actual book bindery in an industrial section of Chicago.

Why Girls Fight: Female Youth Violence in the Inner City

Ness holds doctorate degrees in Human Development, Psychology, and Anthropology and in Why Girls Fight she blends the theories and research methods from these three fields to discuss female youth violence. Ness argues that the majority of studies tend to examine either individual factors in explaining and understanding youth violence or emphasize sociological, macro-level factors.

Jack Goes Boating

I had no idea that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had such a devoted fan base. Yeah, he won Oscars for his work in Capote and Doubt and he did liven up overrated stinkers like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Magnolia. Still, I was shocked by how many people streamed into the theatre to see his directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating. Nearly all the chairs in the 600-seat space were filled.

Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

Orange County, California is known for both wealth and political conservatism. In fact, the most recent American Community Survey reports that the largely Caucasian locale boasts a median household income of $81,260. But as filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi’s latest documentary, Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County, demonstrates, more than ten percent of OC residents live below the poverty line.


I just got back from seeing the documentary Babies. I have to say that it was great! Director Thomas Balmès followed four babies from four countries for a little over a year each. The movie is mostly without dialogue, except for the little bit of the parents' talking. It is mostly shot from the baby's level, and is organized by the developmental stages of babies' lives.

An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor and Working-Class Roots

In An Angle of Vision, we are presented with a series of extraordinarily well-written essays centered upon one of the most taboo topics in U.S. culture: class. More specifically, we are presented with first-person, female-centered examinations of two groups who are steadily disappearing from both the public discourse and the popular culture of the United States: the poor and working class.

Mississippi Damned

Mississippi Damned opens with a display of rural setting, piano music, and kids playing. Based on a true story, the film is shown through the eyes of Kari Peterson, a young black girl, who lives in a poor, violent, neglectful family. Even though she is a little girl, nothing is hidden from her view-the adults are too busy drinking, gambling, and beating people to notice her during the intense moments.

Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City

The concept for Jane Latour’s book, Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York, was initially a brochure. While serving as the director of the Women’s Project of the Brooklyn-based Association for Union Democracy (AUD), Latour had the opportunity to interview women who were working in non-traditional blue-collar trades.

"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China is an account by journalist Lijia Zhang, who came of age in China during the ‘80s.

Resilience: Queer Professors from the Working Class

This anthology of writings from a variety of queer professors and administrators from the working class aims to shed light on the myriad of ways that gender, sexuality, and class intersect and come into play in the academy. Each author offers his or her unique story, producing testimony to the salience of multiple identities in understanding power within the university and more broadly.  The strength of this anthology is the dialogue between authors of multiple generations and geographic regions.

Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine, the sophomore album by country duo Fanny Grace, is pleasant, well-produced, up tempo, contemporary country-rock with a postfeminist sensibility. Writer/producer/guitarist Paul Reeves and co-writer/lead singer Carmen Meja have turned out a collection of sassy-yet-vulnerable-women-in-pickups songs in the best Dixie Chicks tradition.