Sharon Lockhart, US, HD, color, 80 min. (2008)
Motivated by shifts in the world economy and their effects on American labor and inspired by iconic twentieth-century images of the blue-collar worker, Lunchbreak documents the vital social space of the communal meal.
For the first time in her films Lockhart unleashes a mobile camera, although one fixed to a carefully calibrated path that cuts a carefully timed cross-section through the Bath Iron Works in coastal Maine during the midday repast, as workers sit along a central passage to eat and talk.
By deliberately slowing the film down, Lockhart opens up the wealth of details, textures and gestures captured by each frame and echoed by the richly evocative and complexly multilayered soundtrack designed by Becky Allen and filmmaker and Lockhart mentor James Benning.
Lunch Break’s gradual passage through the aged factory offers a meditative and melancholic reflection on the architectural, social and phenomenological space of a notably anachronistic mode of industrialized labor.