The Labor Movie Night series presents the drama “Cradle Will Rock” Friday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St., St. Paul.

“Cradle Will Rock” (USA, 1999, 132 minutes, Rated R) explores the mix of art, class and politics in the tumultuous 1930s. The film is based on the true story of director Orson Welles’ 1937 attempt to stage a pro-labor Broadway musical as part of the Federal Theatre Project.

The Federal Theatre Project, a New Deal program putting artists and actors to work, became a political target for a Congressional committee because of the left-wing slant of some of its productions.

Directed by Tim Robbins (“Dead Man Walking”), the film stars Hank Azaria, Rubén Blades, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave and Susan Sarandon.

In addition to Orson Welles, other historical figures in the storyline include muralist Diego Rivera, businessman Nelson Rockefeller, and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.

Admission is free. Snacks, beer and soda will be available during the film; donations appreciated.

Labor Movie Night is sponsored by AFSCME Local 3800, AFSCME Council 5, AFSCME Council 5 Next Wave, AFSCME Locals 34, 552, 607, 1164 and 2822, IBEW Local 292, Teamsters Local 638, UNITE HERE Local 17, East Side Freedom Library and Minneapolis Labor Review.

Reprinted from the Minneapolis Labor Review.

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