After a General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio, shut down in 2008, laying off thousands of employees, a Chinese billionaire by the name of Cao Dewang reopened it in 2014 as Fuyao Glass America, manufacturing automobile glass. Though barely earning a middle-class living, the Americans and their 200 Chinese co-workers seemed hopeful. But as Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s new Netflix documentary American Factory (which was filmed over three years and produced by Michelle and Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions) shows, the clash of cultures and work ethics between the two — not to mention the threat of unionizing — interfered with the company’s success; the Chinese, who are diligent, obedient and not opposed to working 12-hour days, think they’re American counterparts are lazy, too chatty and have “fat fingers.” UCLA’s Film & Television Archive screens the film, followed by a Q&A with Reichert and moderator Anne Thompson, as part of its “Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film” retrospective. Reichert and Bognar also directed the 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary short, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.; free with RSVP. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.