The Electronic Sweatshop (Quel Numero What Number?)

Director: Sophie Bissonnette

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


The Canadian documentary has always had a strong social conscience, a legacy of Grierson’s influence in our artistic heritage, and The Electronic Sweatshop falls firmly within this tradition. In an age when the new technologies threaten to overwhelm us, Sophie Bissonnette looks at the fallout that results from the perspective of those women who must use and operate these machines.

This is the other side of the computer revolution and many of the victims are, perhaps not surprisingly, women. The drama of having to operate, and often report to a machine is played out everyday in the workplace, causing innumerable problems of adaptation and adjustment. The machine age is upon us and, like an Orwellian nightmare, machines can be used in a variety of ways, many of which Bissonnette explores.

Yet, despite the problems, these woman can all look 0n the bright side of their skirmishes with the new technologies. For the most part determined and straightforward, they also give vent to their creative talents in front of the camera.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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