How is getting older changing in America?
Working longer. Living longer. Being more active and loving life. The new old age challenges the notion of getting old in America. The Atlantic will explore how growing old has changed. How is society adapting to the new senior set? How can Americans nearing retirement prepare for a longer life and what tools are at their disposal to be healthy and happy as they age?
American employers are finding advantages to the low-cost, temporary labor of older workers. These are transient older Americans, people who aren't able to make ends meet on social security alone, many of whom are casualties of the housing crisis and the Great Recession. Taking to the roads in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, these migrant laborers call themselves “workampers” and can be found picking produce, cleaning campgrounds, and filling boxes at Amazon. In Nomadland, author Jessica Bruder, a finalist for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, follows them and narrates this tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—and the precarious future that may await many of us.
Bruder will be joined in conversation with Margaret Talbot, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century.
A Nation of States. America is as much an idea as it is a place. So how has the idea of America been lived, reformed, or avoided in places that sit both inside and outside of it? And where do we look for America today? A discussion with New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright (God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State), New Yorker and New York Times Magazine contributor Dan Kaufman (The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics) and sociologist Manuel Pastor (State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future), moderated by Jessica Bruder, author of Nomadland.
Join us as we welcome the six finalists of the Discover Great New Writers Awards 2017! A reading, Q&A, and signing featuring Patty Yumi Cottrell (Sorry to Disrupt the Peace), Jessica Bruder (Nomadland), Michael W. Twitty (The Cooking Gene), Lisa Ko (The Leavers), Leah Carroll (Down City), and Megan Hunter (The End We Start From).
UnionDocs is excited to present a showcase of female-directed short films produced by Field of Vision, a filmmaker-driven documentary unit that commissions and creates original short-form nonfiction films about developing and ongoing stories around the globe. This program was selected in partnership with our concurrent workshop FOR SHORTS' SAKE.
We are also very happy to welcome filmmakers Farihah Zaman, Brett Story, Jessica Bruder, and Sierra Pettengill back to UnionDocs for a post-screening discussion of their work.
Brett Story & Jessica Bruder, 16 min., 2017.
For nearly a decade, Amazon has recruited thousands of RVers for a seasonal labor unit called CamperForce. Adapted from the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
Farihah Zaman & Jeff Reichert, 9 min., 2017
See how alt-right icon Steve Bannon’s years as a documentary filmmaker catapulted him to Breitbart News and the Trump White House.
Sierra Pettengill, 10 min., 2017
Using over 100 years of archival footage, director Sierra Pettengill explores the history of the largest Confederate monument, Georgia’s Stone Mountain.
An Act of Worship
Nausheen Dadabhoy & Sofian Khan, 9 min., 2017
A unique portrait of CAIR – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – in the first days of the Trump administration as the civil rights organization responds to the new president’s agenda for Muslim-Americans.
The Black Belt
Margaret Brown, 11 min., 2016
In 2015, the state of Alabama closed 31 DMVs across the state. Many of these closures occurred in the Black Belt, a predominantly African-American region, directly impacting voter enfranchisement in a state that requires photo IDs at the polls.
Gabon Grimm Vs.
Nadia Hallgren, 18 min., 2017
In 2016, transgender teen Gavin Grimm sued his local school board after its members refused to let him use the bathroom of his choice. He was ready to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court—and then the election happened