American Factory (2019)

“Everybody at every level will say that we really, really want to be safe. But safety doesn’t pay the bills.” – John Crane

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about how a Chinese company took over an American Auto plant and by using methods taught in their country tried to reform and rehabilitate the American workers and the plant itself.

My Take on it – This is a documentary that I’ve heard much about over the past few weeks and was intrigued to see what it was all about.

They do a nice job showing the way that the cultural differences between American and Chinese can be both a motivating factor and also a detractor at the same time when trying to make changes in the kind of service that workers in the auto industry receive from their employers.

This film;s story is quite reminiscent of the film Gung Ho (1986) and its interesting to see how fact and fiction are somewhat connected. (I know Japanese and Chinese are not the same) 🙂

Thankfully, this film’s premise isn’t shown as a farce like n that film, yet there are still lots of comparisons to be made between the two.

The story develops in an interesting way and we get to see how normal people who just want to put food on their tables must live and are willing to do so much in order to accomplish their goal.

Unfortunately, depending on where each of these people are on the”food chain” of the company also reflects their skewed perspective on it all even when they all look at the same value system.

This movie does a great job contrasting the work ethics between the Chinese and American employees and it makes clear sense why there is friction between the two sides when they each make suggestions and demands of the other side to do things that they don;t necessarily agree upon to implement.

This film’s message of trying to find common ground between these cultural differences works and helps make this film quite intriguing to watch as things unfold.

Bottom Line – Very interesting look at how cultural differences can be both a motivator and a detractor when trying to enhance service within the auto industry. This story’s premise is quite reminiscent of the film Gung Ho (1986), yet thankfully isn’t a farce at all. Liked the way that the story develops because it shows that all of these people are normal people trying to put food on their tables and will do all they can to accomplish that goal. Unfortunately, depending on where each of them is in the food chain of the system, their perspectives are slightly skewed when they look at the same kind of value system. The way that the movie contrasts the American and Chinese work ethics is done really well and helps establish why not all of the people in this film are able to accommodate new approaches suggested and implemented by the other side. Shows the way that the systems need to find common ground along the way. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The first film released from the new production company Higher Ground, founded by former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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3 thoughts on “American Factory (2019)

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