Documentary: We Are All Workers

The city of Braddock

The city of Braddock

An ad on the New York Times’ home page caught my eye this week. It was for an eleven part documentary series on the economic issues of Braddock Pa. I’m from Western Pennsylvania and went to college in Pittsburgh, so I was curious as to what this film was about.

Braddock is a few miles from Pittsburgh in the Monongahela River valley. Andrew Carnegie built his first steel mill here and his first free library. The steel mill is still there, now run by U.S. Steel, but the workers moved to out to the suburbs. The city has gone from a population of 20,000 in the ’40s to less than 3,000 today. It’s full of empty buildings and lots — very post apocalyptic looking. If you saw the movie based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Road,” you saw Braddock. Parts of the movie was filmed there.

What is odd about this documentary series is it is being produced by Levi Strauss & Co, IFC, and The Sundance Channel. Levi’s has invested in Braddock’s community center, public library and urban farm. However Levi’s does not make anything in Braddock, most of their clothes are made overseas. The endeavor is part of the ad campaign by Wieden+Kennedy for Levi’s Work Wear Collection.

The films are well made so far. Having been in Braddock I would say they capture the true look and mood of the city. The interviews are with real people. So are these documentaries, PR or a strange hybrid? I’m still not sure what to think of them, but they are most definitely are worth a look.

We Are All Workers:
Trailer/ad by “The Road” director John Hillcoat

Episode 1: The Seeds of Change by Aaron Rose

Episode 2: The Mayor by Aaron Rose

Levi’s Workshops: Printmaking

Braddock (Braddocc) Website for the city of Braddock

Levi’s “We Are All Workers”

New York Times: Rock Bottom for Decades, but Showing Signs of Life

Explore posts in the same categories: Advertising, Documentary, Storytelling, Video

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One Comment on “Documentary: We Are All Workers”

  1. Evan Mugford Says:

    isn’t that the truth! 🙂

    Website Design Firm

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