Netflix has released the first trailer for the original documentary “American Factory,” directed by Julia Reichert (“Seeing Red”) and Steven Bognar (“The Last Truck:The Closing of a GM Plant”) about the convergence and culture clash between China and the U.S. working class in an Ohio factory plant. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it took home the Directing Award in the documentary category. At the tail end of the festival, Netflix acquired the documentary, its second Sundance deal out of this year’s edition, for reportedly under $3 million.
From Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-winners Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant,” “A Lion in the House,” “Seeing Red”) comes AMERICAN FACTORY, a Netflix Original Documentary presented by Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media. The acclaimed film takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans still recovering from the effects of the 2008 recession.
Working side-by-side with experienced Chinese workers, the locals are optimistic about the future for the first time in almost a decade. But early days of hope give way to setbacks as high-tech China collides with working-class America, and issues of language and culture become seemingly insurmountable walls between clashing factions.
Bognar and Reichert directed the 2009 documentary short “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” which was nominated for an Academy Award. Their new film seems to follow suit with their everlasting and pointed focus on the nuances of a working class, their revealed anxieties, their formed friendships and bonds and the stakes in the manufacturing industry.
“American Factory” has received awards for Best Documentary Feature in Ashland Independent Film Festival, RiverRun International Film Festival and Sarasota Film Festival. It is produced by Participant Media and Higher Ground Productions. It will be distributed by Netflix and will hit streaming and select theaters August 21.