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No Sweat


Dark and dingy factories. Women and children working, elbow to elbow, hunched over machines. Nike. Guess. Kathy Lee Gifford. Sweatshops are an all too familiar story, operating both in the United States and overseas. But does the fashion industry always have to be linked to worker exploitation?

Enter SweatX and American Apparel, two hip new clothing manufacturers that operate in downtown Los Angeles, just blocks from each other. Both companies are committed to creating "sweat-shop-free" clothing by ensuring workers earn livable wages, receive benefits and work in a safe environment. SweatX is backed by $1.5 million in venture capital from progressive ice-cream maker Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's. American Apparel was built from the ground up by eccentric Canadian immigrant Dov Charney.

No Sweat follows these two very different companies for one year, comparing their leadership and business practices, documenting a union drive, and zeroing in on the hopes and dreams of the garment workers themselves. The film investigates whether these companies can actually survive in the tight economic conditions that have sent so much of their competition overseas.

The documentary is a refreshingly honest and wild ride into the bowels of an industry that is notorious for its exploitation of mostly poor, immigrant women. From panties to politics, feminism to machismo, globalization and classic T-shirts (check your closet -- you probably already own one), No Sweat is a promiscuous, playful, nonpompous, non-politically-correct film -- the first portrait of the people behind the companies producing the next huge American clothing revolution.

[Original air date: Sun, Sep 25, 2005]

This program is not currently scheduled for broadcast.



Filmmaker Profiles:

Amie Williams

Read more about Amie Williams, filmmaker of No Sweat.

Resources

A Home on the Range: Crew & Credits

Produced, Directed and Edited by
Bonnie Burt
Judith Montell

Our Storytellers
Lisa Schwartz
Sylvia Schwartz
Barry Nitzberg
George Nitzberg
Irv and Edna Newman
Don Osborne
Scott Gerber
Lily Fishman Krulevitch
Gussie Sovel
Miriam Johnson
Bill Sovel
Ann Barlas
Leon Barlas
Sam Lipschultz
Ann Weinstock
Emil Tsipin
Simon Jaffee

Camera
Bonnie Burt
Ashley James
Daniel Meyers
Judith Montell

On-Line Editor
Rick Giachino

Consulting Editors
Marta Wohl
Deborah Hoffmann

Graphics
Diane Scheiman

Video Post Production
Bob Johns, Finishing
David O. Weissman, Technical Consulting
Video Arts Inc., San Francisco

Audio Post Production
Mark Escott
Robert Berke Sound, San Francisco

Original Score
Randy Craig

Music Recording
Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Nina Bombardier
Stephen Hart
Scott Holderby

Musicians
Randy Craig, keyboard
Ben Goldberg, clarinet
Susan Thompson, violin
Jeanette Lewicki, accordion

Special Thanks
Linda Lipton Abernathy
Andi Barlas
Nancy Barlas
Susan Jaust
Janice Cader
Evelyn Nitzberg
Marv Dolowitz
William Fishman
Leland Fishman
Neal Fishman
Sol and Rose Fishman
Allan Gorelick
Peg Gerber
Rose Lipschultz
Judy Nitzberg
Irv Piotrkowski
Cici Piotrkowski
David Polonsky
Sheba and Joe Rapoport
Sol Rosen
Esther Sabin
Jerome Schwartz
Alan Shiansky
Frances Sorgenstein

Family Archives
Ann and Leon Barlas
Lily Fishman Krulevitch
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barry and George Nitzberg
Sylvia Schwartz and Family
Dan Silver
Bill and Gussie Sovel
Ann Weinstock

Archival Sources
Petaluma Historical Library Museum
Petaluma Museum Association
Debi Riddle
Lucy Kortun
Sonoma County Library
West County Museum, Sebastopol
Western Sonoma Historical Society
Evelyn S. Mc Clure
Labor Archives, SF State University
Lynn A. Bonfield
Carol Cuenod
Linda Musick
Congregation B'nai Israel, Petaluma
Rabbi Leah Sudran
YIVO Institute For Jewish Research
Erica Blankstein
Library Of Congress
Jack London State Historic Park

Scholars
Dr. Les Adler
Dr. Sam Haber
Dr. Ava Kahn
Kenneth L. Kann
Dr. Vincenza Scarpaci
Dr. Phillip Naftaly
Dr. Albert Warhaftig

Funding
California Council For The Humanities
Richard A. Cummings
Nathan Cummings Fund
Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, Inc.
Fleishhacker Foundation
Pacific Pioneer Fund

Thank You
Mark Liss
Lon Moore
Leonard Fein
Diane Scheiman
Sheba Rapoport
Gay Le Baron
Ashley James
Catherine Golden
John Rego
Nicolai Meaclor
Judy Ehrlich
Alison Jordan
Lisa Moss
Jed Riffe
Max Salomon
Judah L. Magnes Museum
Seymour Fromer
Sue Morris
Bill Chayes
Jewish Community Agency of Sonoma County
Claire Schoen
Deborah Kaufman
Alan Snitow
Connie Field
Clarity Educational Productions, Inc.

Baby Chick Ranglers
Helen
Quincy
Evelyn

"Petaluma"
Norman Greenbaum
courtesy Erik Jacobsen, Trans/tone Productions

"Arbiter Ring Himenn"
("Workman's Circle Anthem")
performed by Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco

"Zog Nit Keyn Mol"
(The Partisan Song")
Words, Hirsh Glik
Music, Dmitri Pokrass
Performed by Sam Lipshultz

"Dzankoye"
Traditional folksong
Performed by Scott Gerber

"Internationale"
music by Peter Degeyter

In Loving Memory:
Irving Mayer Burt
(1910-2000)

C. 2002 Bonnie Burt and Judith Montell

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