Albert and Lucy Parsons are an interracial couple who team with German immigrants to Chicago: August Spies, Louis Lingg, Adolph Fischer and others, to lead a movement to give American workers labor laws in the fight for the 8-hour work day and to end child labor. The Chicago Anarchists are charged with igniting a bomb at the Haymarket Riot and must figure out how to prove their innocence.
Lucy, Albert, August, Louis & Adolph ::: *Fall in Love, Not in Line*
From Celine Rattray: Only 10% of American Films Are Gender-Balanced
Haymarket Affair is 50/50
The Haymarket Affair of 1886 gave birth to May Day, which is celebrated annually on May 1st in over 80 nations around the globe. 1886, the screenplay, is a historical drama based on real life stories that surround the Haymarket bombing of May 4, 1886, the subsequent trial and executions of anarchists in America who fought for the eight hour work day and to end child labor.
The story centers on an interracial couple. Lucy Parsons is of mixed heritage: a Native-American/African-American/Mexican labor activist born into slavery. She’s written about as a “Black Indian“. Albert Parsons enlists to help the CSA at age 13 and later denounces his indoctrination to advocate for the rights of freed slaves and the working class with his wife. They are a team.
The story also focuses on German immigrants– Louis Lingg, a young Mannheim born carpenter unionist who emigrates to Chicago and German language newspaper publisher August Spies and his assistant Adolph Fischer. Lingg commits suicide in prison, leaving behind the love of his life, Elise Friedel. Spies meets his wife, Nina Van Zandt, a Chicago socialite, as a result of the conspiracy trial. Four men are hung and buried in Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago.
1886 captures the current worldwide zeitgeist of the disparity between the haves and have nots. This story includes suspenseful elements such as the mystery of who really set off the bomb in Haymarket Square & torrid love affairs. It also draws attention to America’s prison system. The anarchists were kept and killed at Cook County Jail, still the US’s largest.
The Indispensable Zinn, “Resistance & the Role of The Artist” p. 335
“People in the entertainment world have a possibility to reach larger numbers of people than we do, and if they miss out on an opportunity to reach huge numbers of people, then they are depriving all of us of the very special opportunity.“
The film Blackfish stirred 12 year old protestor Rose McCoy into action.
Film can get people onto streets with messages.
budgeted in low mid-range
Guess which project’s #1 and “a worthy successor to [indie sleeper hit] #BelleMovie”
City of Chicago:
A Powerful Symbol
“Over the years, the site of the Haymarket bombing has become a powerful symbol for a diverse cross-section of people, ideals and movements. Its significance touches on the issues of free speech, the right of public assembly, organized labor, the fight for the eight-hour workday, law enforcement, justice, anarchy and the right of every human being to pursue an equitable and prosperous life. For all, it is a poignant lesson in the rewards and consequences inherent in such human pursuits.”
Mike Alewitz mural of Albert & Lucy Parsons in Mexico
Look how much German is still spoken in the US today
To find out more about the relevance and social significance of 1886 — click here
From Kate Schatz, author of the New York Times Bestseller book on which Lucy is a cover gal “Rad American Women A-Z“:
“Hey! Are you at work today? For 8 hours? On May 1? Take a moment to thank Lucy Parsons for that.
On May 1, 1886, activist/anarchist/feminist/dressmaker/speaker/organizer/mother Lucy Gonzalez Parsons, her husband, and their 2 [children] helped lead 80,000 workers down the streets of Chicago in what is considered to be the first May Day Parade. They were on a massive strike and campaign to demand an 8-hour workday. Over the next several days 100s of thousands more workers joined the movement, crippling industry and forcing changes in labor policy.
On May 3 police killed 6 striking workers; on May 4 Lucy’s husband Albert spoke at a rally in Haymarket Square. Police broke up the rally and a bomb was thrown into the crowd; Albert was wrongly charged along with a group of fellow radical anarchists. He escaped Chicago but later turned himself in out of solidarity. Lucy traveled the country giving speeches in defense of the Haymarket men. Albert was eventually executed, and Lucy continued on as a powerful organizer, helping to found the IWW and coming to be referred to as “more dangerous than 10,000 rioters” by the Chicago Police.
So, if you’re working an 8-hr day, or getting overtime for working MORE than 8 hours—raise a glass to Lucy, who was so very very rad.”
Lucy stickers seen in UK