“9TO5: The Story of A Movement” Documents the Story Behind the Hit Dolly Parton Song & Movie
9to5: The Story of A Movement, a new documentary from Dayton-area Academy Award-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, tells the previously-untold story of the national “9to5 movement” and how women created a labor movement that brought lasting change.
Before the hit song by Dolly Parton and Hollywood movie, “9to5” was an inspiring grassroots movement for equality that fused the spirit of both the women’s and labor movements. From the filmmakers Reichert and Bognar, the duo behind the Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory, 9to5: The Story of a Movement chronicles the waves of secretaries, starting in Boston, who fought to create impactful changes in their workplaces in the 1970s and 80s. Their ideas spread rapidly, eventually leading to a nationwide movement at the intersection of the women’s movement and the labor movement that changed the American workplace forever.
In the 1970s, secretaries and clerical workers made up the largest sector of the American workforce, with more than 20 million employed. Inspired by the growing Women’s Liberation Movement, secretaries Ellen Cassedy and Karen Nussbaum got mad, got organized and started a group called 9to5. The group grappled with class and race barriers and deployed humor and wry publicity stunts to shame their bosses into change. Their goals were simple: better pay, job descriptions, respect, advancement opportunities and an end to sexual harassment.
Featuring interviews with 9to5 founders Nussbaum and Cassedy, actress and activist Jane Fonda, and other leaders in the movement, 9to5: The Story of a Movement weaves a story that celebrates the strides that women have made in achieving equality, while recognizing there is a lot of work yet to be done.
“9to5 tells a story through the words of these workers and the organizers themselves. These women are so inspiring, and as we spoke with them more, we discovered undeniable parallels to the movements happening today,” filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar said in a press release. “We hope this film inspires people and shows how people can build momentum to tip the balance of worker vs. corporate power.”
Commended as “stirring” by Variety and “urgent” by The Boston Globe, 9to5: The Story of a Movement premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens on Monday, February 1st at 10pm on CET and Thursday, February 4, at 10pm on ThinkTV16 and will also be available to stream on the PBS Video App.