Kid-Appropriate Movies about Labor may be hard to find since labor movies illustrate the struggles, triumphs, and entrepreneurial endeavors of workers and some content that is not good for kids to look at. But, here’s a list of Kid-Appropriate Movies about Labor Day that may be good to watch together with the entire family.
Kid-Appropriate Movies About Labor
Available on Amazon Prime Video (subscription)
Employee of the Month (PG-13)
A slacker competes with a repeat winner for the “Employee of the Month” title at work, in order to gain the affections of a new female employee.
Available on other streaming platforms or to purchase:
- Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
- Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith (Actors)
The Pursuit of Happyness (PG-13)
A struggling salesman receives custody of his son just before he begins a life-altering career. According to the movie, a family is trying to make it big in their lives.
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) and Linda (Thandie Newton) have a son named Chris (Jaden Smith).
Chris is a salesman for a company that manufactures medical scanning gadgets. He is having trouble selling them, and the family is late on their rent.
Linda works additional hours to make ends meet. This is causing tension in their marriage.
To continue this unit study, check out The Pursuit of Happyness Movie Study.
- Alfre Woodard, Damien Leake, Dennis Farina (Actors)
- Bill Duke (Director)
The Killing Floor (age 13+)
In The Killing Floor, a black man moves to Chicago during WWI, finds work in the stockyards, and joins the labor movement.
Racism is a theme in the film set during and after World War I, with the “N” word being frequently used to threaten African Americans who must walk through a “white” neighborhood to get to work.
There may be some violent scenes with white men firing rifles from a car at African Americans sitting on their stoops, dead bodies on the streets, and agitators throwing bricks at union leaders but with the parent’s provision, kids will be more educated.
- Factory sealed DVD
- Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman (Actors)
Norma Rae (PG)
Sally Field won Best Actress for her vibrant portrayal of a single mother who reluctantly leads a unionization effort at her cotton mill. Based on a true story, with Beau Bridges.
Despite the difficulties and risks, a young single mother and textile worker helped unionize her mill.
With his estranged daughter, a man reflects on his lost love and his long journey from Taiwan to America. A moving drama about a Taiwanese immigrant seeking the American Dream. | Stream on Netflix
- Factory sealed DVD
- Marcello Mastroianni, Annie Girardot (Actors)
The Organizer (Not Rated)
A former high school teacher attempts to organize workers in an inhumane late-19th century textile factory.
This is one of those great 60s foreign films. The plot synopsis may sound bleak, but it is full of heart and humor.
These are real people, with quirks and stupidities and deep relationships. Today’s movies rarely, if ever, portray the human condition accurately and fully.
- Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell (Actors)
- John Sayles (Director)
An embattled mining community is brutally dominated and harassed by a union organizer. This movie is an American classic.
This story, though not based on real events in some areas, conveys the hardships these and all coal miners faced.
The storyline keeps the audience focused on the characters and the events leading up to the shootout between the miners and the hired detectives.
American Factory (TV-14)
In this documentary, a Chinese company reopens a shuttered Ohio factory. The American dream is threatened by a cultural rift.
The Americans and Chinese in “American Factory” represent a small part of the US and Chinese societies.
In other words, the movie is primarily about American and Chinese factory workers, a Chinese businessman’s mindset, and about factory managers. | Stream on Netflix
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