Obama film team quotes Communist Manifesto during Oscars speech
Higher Ground won its first Oscar on the 92nd Academy Awards for their film "American Factory", winning the best feature-length documentary. For those who don't know, Higher Ground is a production company owned by the Obamas. They've managed to stick to the political theme too, becoming the most political speech in the whole night, aside from Brad Pitt's 45 seconds one.
The documentary "American Factory" is about an Ohio auto glass factory that was reopened y Chinese industrialist and billionaire Cao Dewang. Fox News notes how the film focuses on workers' rights, globalization and automation and the culminating bitter fight over the right to unionize.
For those who are wondering where Dewang is and why he is not present, he is unable to attend due to the travel restrictions due to the deadly Noble Coronavirus.
However, that is not the spotlight of the evening. Directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert accepted the award. In their acceptance speech, Reichert cited "The Communist Manifesto", written by Karl Marx. In her speech, Reichert said
Our film is from Ohio and China, but it really could be from anywhere that people put on a uniform, punch a clock, trying to make their families have a better life. Working people have it harder and harder these days. And we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite.
"Workers of the world" is a famous quote from The Communist Manifest. This is a variation of the phrase inscribed on Marx' tombstone "Workers of all lands, unite."
Reichert and Bognar spoke backstage, and included an explanation as to why the Obamas were drawn to their film, aside from owning the production. They said "They felt it could help. People listen to each other, and through these stories, create empathy, which then builds relationships."
For those who know the story of The Communist Manifesto, the reply to the "Workers of all lands", or in this case, "Workers of the world," is "We are the Union" and it's all that's been missing to cement the political views of the Oscars.
The Obamas congratulated them with Barack Obama tweeting "Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” he tweeted. “Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release."
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Michelle Obama also shared a tweet, saying "So glad to see their heart and honesty recognized—because the best stories are rarely tidy or perfect. But that’s where the truth so often lies
However, there are those who know the history and backstory of The Communist Manifesto, who tweeted
They're not wrong. Reichert's political statement in the usually not political Oscars is the highlight that made a lot of those who know communism uneasy on their seats.