In 1980, Joel Sucher made a film called Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists, which was a portrait of immigrant life in the U.S. as seen through the eyes of sweatshop workers who made up the Jewish anarchist movement. Between 1900 and World War I, these Yiddish-speaking anarchists constituted an influential political movement affecting trade unions, newspapers, left-wing culture—and hysteria—in the US. Now 40 years later, that film has been re-released. I was happy to interview one of the original directors of Free Voice of Labor, Joel Sucher.
Click on the triangle or link above to hear my conversation with director Joel Sucher as broadcast today on WBAI NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
Lots of magicians do the trick I’m doing in this video, but I really enjoy the presentation that I’ve worked out here with my colleague Jacob Lefco. I think it makes it a lot more fun and logical when you have a reason for tearing the newspaper up and making the magic happen.
This was performed yesterday at a high school talent show. The acoustics in the auditorium are less than stellar, but I think you can still get the idea fine, anyway. The students were a very enthusiastic crowd, as you can tell, and they are all new immigrants to the United States, so their English vocabulary for the most part is limited; that’s another reason why I tried to play it with a minimum of words on my part.