In the early 1900's, the legendary Joe Hill emigrates with his brother to the United States. But after a short time, he loses touch with his brother. Joe gets a few jobs but is struck by all the injustice and tragedy going on. He becomes active in the forbidden union IWW, a union for workers without trades. It is forbidden to demonstrate and to speak in public but Joe gets around that by singing his manifests with the Salvation Army. He manages to get more and more people to get on strike with him but he also makes powerful enemies doing that. Finally he gets connected with a murder and during the trial he fires his lawyer and takes upon himself to become his own defender. Written by
Superb film, a haunting and inspiring story - and worthy of seeing again after 38 years.
I saw this film in 1972 in Dublin and was knocked out. I watched it twice through in the cinema that day, never thinking that 38 years later I would never have had the chance to see this film again.
I remember it as fairly glossy in production values but moving despite that - and the music score, especially the Joan Baez theme, being absolutely perfectly matched with the story line.
I have tried for some time to obtain a copy either in VHS or DVD of this film, without success. It is amazing that it is not available, given the combined quality of this film and the earlier Elvira Madigan, let alone Bo Widerberg's other masterpieces.
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