Rocking the Foundations

Director: Pat Fiske

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Rocking the Foundations is an exemplary documentary, a lucid and passionate account of one of the world’s most innovative and progressive unions, the New South Wales branch of the Building Laborers’ Federation. In the early ‘70s, the B.L.F. instigated what became known as the "Green Bans” to prevent the demolition an redevelopment of Sydney’s most beautiful and historic areas. At the same time, the B.L.F. infuriated redevelopers and their international backers. The union also expanded into other areas, including culture and politics, becoming a union that truly supported ordinary people against powerful business interests.

Pat Fiske, herself a member of the B. L.F., tells the story of the rise and fall of this unusual union through interviews with former members and officers, as well as extensive newsreel and television footage of often bitter events and riotous confrontations. The unquestioned hero of Rocking the Foundations is Jack Mundey, secretary of the branch from 1968-1973, the most active period of the union. He speaks today with candor and integrity, the stuff of which, as one critic put it, Frank Capra films are made.

Screening Details


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