50 minutes, 1980 Producers: Mary Beth Yarrow and Julie Thompson, Director: Lee Grant
ABOUT THE FILM
The Willmar 8 is Academy Award winner Lee Grant's documentary about working women which has been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, excerpted on 60 Minutes, and was broadcast nationally by PBS. The film tells the story of eight unassuming, apolitical women in America's heartland--Willmar, Minnesota--who were driven by sex discrimination at work to take the most unexpected step of their lives and found themselves in the forefront of the struggle for women's rights. Risking jobs, friends, family and the opposition of church and community, they began the longest bank strike in American history in a dramatic attempt to assert their own equality and self-worth.
"The true drama of America...A revealing portrait of an American small town and how the lives of eight women changed as they withstood community disapproval and gained a new sense of themselves."
Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle
"There could be no better film to show skeptics what the women's struggle is all about or to show women that the struggle is worth it."
"Forthright...moving...inspiring...Explores contemporary folk heroism with an active admiring energy."
Janet Maslin, New York Times
"An insightful and moving portrait of eight midwestern women who challenged the very values with which they were raised and, in the process learned how strong and capable they really were...It honors them, as will audiences in colleges, public libraries, labor organizations, and women's groups."
"The real life Nine to Five"
Los Angeles Times
"One of the most moving and stirring films I've ever seen. It's a story of courage and awakening conscience that will change anyone who sees it."