Special Screenings
Traveling Festival

Behind the Labels

Behind the Labels: Garment Workers on U.S. Saipan
(45 minutes) USA
Director/Producer: Tia Lessin


Lured by false promises and driven by desperation, thousands of Chinese and Filipina women pay high fees to work in garment factories on the pacific island of Saipan–the only U.S. territory exempt from labor and immigration laws. The clothing they sew, bearing the 'Made in the USA' label, is shipped duty and quota-free to the US for sale by retailers. Hidden camera footage, along with personal stories, offers a glimpse into indentured labor and the workings of the global sweatshop–where 14 hour shifts, payless paydays, and lock-downs are routine. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, Behind the Labels takes the story from the factory floor to the streets, where protesters worldwide wage an ongoing battle against globalization.


Tia Lessin, a New York-based documentary filmmaker, received the 2002 Sidney Hillman Award for her work as producer and director of Behind The Labels. Tia was the supervising producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary film Bowling for Columbine and associate producer of the Academy Award-nominated Shadows of Hate. She has twice been nominated for Emmy Awards for her work in television. Tia is current co-producing Michael Moore's latest film Fahrenheit 911. She dedicates the UNAFF screening of Behind the Labels to her grandmother, a seamstress and member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, who died earlier this year.

Contact Information:

Matisse Bustos
353 Broadway
New York, NY 10013
URL: www.witness.org

©2003 United Nations Association Film Festival