Monday, July 26, 2010



As a fan of cars, Americana, and documentaries, I was drawn in by the Oscar nominated documentary short "The Last Truck: Closing Of A GM Plant" - currently playing on HBO On Demand.

The IMDB tagline sums it up as, "The inside story of the last days of a General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, as lived by the people who worked the line."

The plant came to a close as the U.S. economy faltered, gas prices rose, and the gas guzzling SUVs and trucks made on the GM line fell out of favor with the American public.

The documentary shows ordinary American factory workers (all with just high school educations) showing pride in their workmanship on the line, unsure of what future employment they will be able to find with their education level, and sharing stories of the wonderful solidarity and companionship they found among their GM co-workers. Sure these people just helped manufacture cars, but I really saw them as great American heroes doing the hard physical work that's responsible for building this great country and automotive industry. The film shows a cohesion and fraternity rare among women and men, blacks and whites, young and old.

Besides the dignity and pride that shows through from the interview subjects, I felt the film had a real beauty in how it captured the exterior of the plant and town.
- Lydia Marcus

Here's an interview with the filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar.

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