American Factory was snapped up by the Obamas’ production company for Netflix, about what happened after a Chinese billionaire bought a car factory. Via Vulture:
It’s too bad that the documentary American Factory will be largely seen on Netflix rather than in theaters, since it would benefit from a responsive, maybe even raucous audience — both to chortle at the culture-clash comedy and gasp as one, in a shared sense of helplessness. Even when viewed on a laptop, though, it’s a great, expansive, deeply humanist work, angry but empathetic to its core. It gestures toward the end of the working world we know — and to the rise of the machines.
How did the directors, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, get such intimate access to both sides of the story? On the one hand there are the American workers of Dayton, Ohio’s Fuyao auto-glass factory, which takes over a GM plant that shut down in 2008, throwing 20,000 people out of work (and in many cases out of their homes). On the other are Fujianese Chinese overlords who are ramping up their American investments and hope to build a factory as “happy” (a slippery concept) and as profitable as its Asian counterparts.