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Vanessa Redgrave premieres documentary on Bosnia labour rights

Monday, October 06, 2014 - 00:41

British actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave presents a documentary about a workers' uprising in Bosnia this year. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: British actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave premiered a documentary late on Friday (October 3) made together with her son about a workers' uprising in Bosnia earlier this year that typifies the pain of post-communist transition in eastern Europe. "Bosnia Rising" centres around the fight to save a detergent factory in the northern Bosnian town of Tuzla, once a hub for the metals and chemicals industries of former Yugoslavia but now home to one in five of Bosnia's 27.5 percent registered unemployed. The Dita factory, which before the Bosnian 1992-95 war made detergents used in households up and down the former socialist Yugoslavia, today stands idle after a failed privatisation by a local tycoon. The plant is guarded around the clock by its workers who fear the owner might sell off the machinery. "Social justice is something people everywhere are crying for and rallying for it, organising for it, and are determined, if we will, to restore social justice in all the countries that are in the European Union or, for the reasons beyond our comprehension, not in the European Union," Redgrave said. She also pledged to raise funds and engage a team of lawyers to help Dita workers. The 77-year-old actress and Academy Award winner, known as an advocate for workers' rights, said the film, which she co-produced, shed light on a situation affecting not only Bosnia but much of the planet. Almost as well-known for her left-wing activism as for her acting accolades, Redgrave stood for parliament as a candidate for the Workers Revolutionary Party in the 1970s and launched the Peace and Progress Party to promote human rights in 2004. The protest by Dita workers in February ignited the worst civil unrest in Bosnia since the war in 1992, driven by simmering anger over unemployment and the shortcomings of an unwieldy system of ethnic power-sharing that has kept the peace since 1995. Rioters set fire to government buildings in several cities. Redgrave's son, Carlo Nero, who directed the film, said the project tries "to inspire questions and provoke a thought process." Anger is high over the perceived corruption and aloofness of elected leaders in the country of 3.8 million people, which will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on October 12.

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Vanessa Redgrave premieres documentary on Bosnia labour rights

Monday, October 06, 2014 - 00:41