Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a ... See full summary »

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Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a pick. When the wall hits the ground, a cloud of white dust whirls up. Three workers continue the demolition of the wall with picks. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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demolition | 1890s | 19th century | See All (3) »

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Documentary | Short

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July 1896 (Uruguay)  »

Also Known As:

Demolition of a Wall  »

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1.33 : 1
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Edited into The Lumière Brothers' First Films (1996) See more »

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The Organizing genius of Capitalism
5 August 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Although those mired in an antiquated theoretical framework may mistake this movie as a Marxian commentary on the oppression of the free worker and the destruction of useful property that rightfully belongs to the proletariat, in actuality, it is no such thing, but a paean to the organizing genius of of capitalism. It is an answer to Marx,a throwing down of the gauntlet.

Some roustabouts are standing with sledgehammers and no idea of what to do: typical of the working class. At the command of the gang boss -- representing, as he does, the capitalist, who knows what he wants and will achieve it while paying his worker what the invisible hand of the economy will permit -- the workers, previously unmotivated, lift their hammers and destroy the wall.

The wall, the Marxian theoretician will have us believe, represents some useful function of society. The twisting of things to the service of propaganda is apparent. The wall represents evil, a separation among society. Only through work, directed by the capitalist, will walls be destroyed and all profit.

But there is more. The auteur retreats one step and runs the movie in reverse! At the command of capital, labor can make or unmake a wall. Clearly labor has no voice in the process. All direction comes from the capitalist.


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