Night Labor (72 minutes) follows Sherman Frank Merchant, a forty-six year old 6'6" Downeaster during his transition from an independent and rugged clam digger by day to manning a factory at night. With his white smock, arsenal of knives, and signature black beret, Sherman performs the tasks of preparing and arranging tools for the day laborers who arrive to their 6am shift.
Night Labor is an intimate experience of what the film critic J. Hoberman calls “situation documentary,” a blending of minimally structured narratives with documentary moments and long takes that elide conventional narrative and plot in favor of mood, lyrical entertainment, and banal mystery. Night Labor is a beautifully photographed story that fuses drama and tension in the mundane sensory experiences of work, ultimately relying on cinema’s most basic powerful elements: image and sound.
Film Festival Screenings
World Premiere: Visions du Reel, April 19-26, 2013, Switzerland
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