A Fábrica de Nada (The Nothing Factory). 2017. Portugal. Directed by Pedro Pinho. In Portuguese and French; English subtitles. 177 min.
New York Premiere
A rich and formally surprising film of ideas, beautifully shot on 16mm, and featuring one of recent cinema’s most memorable musical numbers, Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s nearly three-hour epic concerns the occupation of an elevator plant by its workers. They are stirred to action when the factory’s machinery is removed in the middle of the night by the owners; they rapidly organize, kick out the brass who have arrived offering buyouts, and discuss the feasibility of managing the facility themselves—all the while a Marxist theorist exerts ideological influence from the sidelines. The Nothing Factory is a serious and singular look at the meaning of work today, further developing Pinho’s interest in the status of labor amid his country’s financial crisis.