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During World War I, Frank Custer, a black sharecropper from Mississippi, lands a job in a meatpacking plant in Chicago. Frank succeeds in bring his family up north, but when he decides to support the union cause, his best friends from the South, distrustful of the white-led union, turn against him.
Aired on PBS three years after Ronald Reagan fired 11,000 striking workers, this dramatization of labor disputes in 1910s Chicago is exhilaratingly pro-union. Maximizing the democratic reach of the small screen and its scope for densely detailed storytelling, it is a riveting and rousing watch.