In 1983, during a winter of high unemployment, King invited thirty unemployed Canadians to a Working Conference in which they could explore their experience of being unemployed and employed. The Participants were demographically balancedto reflect gender, race, class and geography. They agreed to share their experience with each other and a national audience on television in the hope that this would be useful both to them and a broad public.
The Conference offered the services of three Consultants led by Gordon Lawrence, of the Tavistock Institute of Group Relations. All were experts in working with people in groups wishing to explore their experience. King’s second film on unemployment is as explosive as his first, A Matter of Pride, was heartrending.
Reflecting closely the feelings of the Conference Participants, some people in the television audience found it remarkably liberating, some were perplexed and a few found it deeply offensive.
For King the film offered a new guide to the notions of freedom and authority and a way to move past the dilemmas of the corporate state. – AllanKingFilms