"On a human level, Norma Rae is the story of one woman, played by Sally Field, who finds redemption risking her life for economic justice, and of factory workers demanding to be treated as more than slaves. In the realm of the political, it is virtually the only American movie of the modern era to deal substantially with any of these subjects. Even today it remains iconic--a major studio movie about the lives of working people with a profound and, for its time, disturbing political message: The little guy may have a prayer of getting social justice, but he'll have to fight desperately to get it. Try to think of a contemporary American film with a similar message or a political statement anywhere near that blunt. The closest thing to a message in this year's crop of Oscar nominees for Best Picture can be found in Babel, which poses the rather mild question, Why can't we all just get along?"
-Robert Nathan and Jo-Ann Mort-
Nathan and Mort pose the question: if the Academy Awards handed out an award to the best progressive film of the year, who would it go to? In reviewing the seemingly progressive films of the recent past, they remember the classic "Norma Rae" and question whether today's cinema captures (or fails to capture) the modern progressive spirit and challenge the status quo. Read the article here