Filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker will be present for a discussion following a screening of their new award-winning film The Washing Society (2018, 44 mins).
When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? The Washing Society brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. A collaboration between filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker, the film observes the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there. The Washing Society combines interviews and observational moments, re-enactment and choreography to produce a stark yet poetic vision of underpaid work, immigration and the sheer math of doing laundry. Inspired by To ’Joy My Freedom, author Tera Hunter’s depiction of the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses in Atlanta, the filmmakers interweave dirt, skin, lint, stains, money and time into the fabric of their film to create a dreamlike yet hyper-real portrayal of a day in the life of a laundry worker, both past and present.