Art & Politics Film Series: Nightcleaners

Art & Politics Film Series: Nightcleaners


December 11, 2019

6:00 PM-7:30 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

Directed by the Berwick Street Collective
United Kingdom, 1975
Run time: 90 minutes

Intended to be a straightforward documentary about the campaign to unionize the women who cleaned office buildings in central London at night, the filmmakers felt the need to turn—halfway through making the documentary—to new experimental forms like confessionals and poetry to represent the tripartite relationship between the unions, the women, and established social orders. Dealing with the nature of precarity and intimacy, the result is a self-reflexive and self-critical film that became a backbone of 1970s British cinema and a precursor in form to contemporary performance art practice.

The Art & Politics Film Series is organized by Robert Wiesenberger, the Clark's associate curator of contemporary projects and Horace Ballard, curator of American art at the Williams College Museum of Art. Each film begins with a brief introduction and is followed by light refreshments and conversation in the Manton Reading Room.