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Hammering It Out
A film by Vivian Price
2000, 54 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W01708
“This spirited documentary spotlights the experience of women in the building trades, specifically those women involved in the Century Freeway Women's Employment Project in Los Angeles. Framed by the story of a community-initiated lawsuit that resulted in hundreds of women getting trained to work on a billion-dollar freeway project, the film evolves into a primer on the feminist issues of equality, identity, and changing gender roles. Powerful testimonials by the women workers tell stories of the often unspoken gendered specifics of discrimination in the building trades: sexual harassment at the jobsite; negotiations about childcare and worker benefits; and the translation of affirmative action policy to the traditional practices of contractors and the historical conventions of the male worksite. The film demonstrates the importance of providing opportunity, embracing equity, and abandoning sexist traditions which deny talented women workers the right to support their families on a par equal with men. It also serves as a cautionary tale that warns that unless laws, policies, and conventions are changed, women workers may be forced out of their chosen professions, like the Rosie the Riveters, by bias and expediency.” Joseph Boles, Northern Arizona University


  • NY, SF, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Toronto and Vancouver Mayworks Labor Festival
  • Silverlake Film Festival
  • Southwest Labor History Conference
  • Working Women's Conference

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    "This documentary is well done, covering important issues for women and men in the construction industry. I urge members of the labor movement to view it."
    Bob Balgenorth
    President, State of California Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO

    "Documents the struggles of women in a male dominated industry. Compelling interviews are seamlessly woven into a provocative and insightful analysis to make this one of the best documentaries on the working class seen in many decades."
    Gilbert G. Gonzalez
    Director, UC Irvine Labor Studies Program

    "The women depicted in this documentary are strong, capable, take-no-bull kind of gals who have chosen a very untraditional professional and have proven themselves very capable of holding their own. It is an affirming film which leaves the audience with that 'Yeah, I can do anything!' feeling."
    Laura Annibalini
    Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Programming Director

    "This engaging film makes the definitive case for why affirmative action is not just an issue of equity but an issue of social justice. It captures the complexities involved in securing economic justice for working class women in the so-called 'new economy.' 'Hammering it Out' is ideal for courses in women's studies, black and ethnic studies, labor studies, and the new emerging field of working-class studies. A must see film for anyone interested in social justice!"
    Mary Margaret Fonow
    Department of Women's Studies, The Ohio State University

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    Hammering It Out is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us