Kemira: Diary of a Strike

Director: Tom Zubrycki

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Kemira: Diary of a Strike is a powerful film, produced in the heat of anger. In fall 1982, upon announcement widespread layoffs in the mines, a group rank and file workers and the Kemira Colliery secretly entered the mine, descended several miles to stage what amounted to a 16-day sit-in. Filmmaker Tom Zubrycki and his cameraman went along. He emerged with eerie, rough footage of the miners’ underground work of shadows, flashlights and cavernous tunnels. Outside the mine, Zubrycki also focuses on a miner’s young wife, whose husband is still below. She, in particular lights up the entire film, one member of remarkably close-knit community struggling for economic survival. Also covered in the film is the miners’ march on the Australian Parliament. They burst through police barricades and into the Parliament chamber. It’s an explosive, jolting moment, as terrifying as it is euphoric.

Screening Details


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