The Uprising of ’34 is a startling documentary which tells the story of the General Strike of 1934, a massive but little-known strike by hundreds of thousands of Southern cotton mill workers during the Great Depression. The mill workers’ defiant stance — and the remarkable grassroots organizing that led up to it — challenged a system of mill owner control that had shaped life in cotton mill communities for decades. Sixty years after the government brutally suppressed the strike, a dark cloud still hangs over this event, spoken of only in whispers if at all.
Through the voices of those on all sides, The Uprising of ’34 paints a rare portrait of the dynamics of life in mill communities, offering a penetrating look at class, race, and power in working communities throughout America and inviting the viewer to consider how those issues affect us today. The film raises critical questions about the critical role of history in making democracy work today.