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Announcement :: Labor
The Ballad of Joe Hill
04 Dec 2006
Free Screening
The Ballad of Joe Hill

Wednesday, December 6

A Film by Bo Widerberg

Joe Hill, the "man who never died", was the most renowned writer of labor
songs the United States has produced. After emigrating from Sweden to the
U.S. in 1902, Hill bummed his way around working as a musician,
longshoreman, machinist, and lumberjack. In 1910 he joined the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW), a revolutionary industrial union, and remained
an active and dedicated member until his frame-up and execution in 1915 for
a murder he almost certainly did not commit.

Joe Hill was the most prominent of a group of songwriters who transformed
the IWW into a singing union as it fought the capitalists and strove to
establish industrial democracy. Most of HIil's songs are set to the melodies
of religious hymns and popular songs of the early 20th century. Several,
including "The Preacher and the Slave", "Casey Jones the Union Scab", and
"Mr. Block" still have wide currency.

Bo Widerberg's "Joe Hill" film was produced in Sweden in 1971. It is an
above-ground color movie which tells the story of Hill's life and the
circumstances of his death. The movie was shown at the Cannes Film Festival
in 1971 aand subsequently played in first-run theaters around the world.
Since then, it has rarely been seen and the IWW and the Lucy Parson's Center
are fortunate to have located this copy.

Radical Film Night at the Lucy Parsons Center
Every Wednesday night at 7pm
Always Free

Questions-Comments about the film series, contact: films(-at-)

Lucy Parsons Center
549 Columbus Avenue
Boston's South End
Telephone: 617.267.6272
Email: lucyparsons (at)

This work is in the public domain
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