SASHA REUTHER, DIRECTOR:
Brothers On The Line represents a personal discovery as much as an historical document. Growing up in DC, I remember visiting with my grandfather, Victor, and listening to his colorful chronicles of adventure and intrigue. At the time, my imagination ran wild with the stories of dramatic picket line confrontation with Ford Motor thugs, frightening assassination attempts, and extensive world travels, including speeches at the Berlin Wall and the exotic traditions of India and Japan. As the years went by, curiosity drew me to further research and I began to comprehend the greater context of my grandfather’s vibrant tales. These were no longer action sequences in my imagination, but real-life events that placed my elders in the heart of the American experience; a 40-year crusade for jobs, justice, and democracy. They were men and women driven by a movement so powerful that some would die for it while others would kill to try to stop it. Unfortunately, their story is once-removed from our current social conscience, laid to rest in the tomes of labor record or reduced to a faint echo through the hollow factories that riddle Detroit’s landscape. My high school text books contained little if any labor history. Most of my peers and younger had no knowledge of the trade union movement’s contribution to the civil rights struggle, in building the middle class, etc. So, when I discovered that I wanted to be a filmmaker and became passionate about documentaries, it seemed rather obvious that I should explore the family saga at my fingertips. Being several generations removed from the key players in this history offered just the right amount of distance to uncover the wide array of motivations that drove them to their actions. What is a captivating human struggle if there are no missteps, arguments, faults, and regrets? With great triumph came immense sacrifice; and with the bountiful resource of my family and support of historical archives, I believe we have crafted an engaging and honest portrait of the Reuther brothers.
Aside from Brothers On The Line, which is my first feature documentary, I work at CBS News on historical productions and special events. My previous experience includes Producer of non-fiction series for cable, advertorials, and product/music videos for such clients as The Sundance Channel, National Geographic, VIBE Magazine, Armani, Grey Goose, Starwood Hotel Group, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and The International Rescue Committee. I have also written op-eds for Time Magazine, Huffington Post, The Reuther Library @ Wayne State University, and The IFP. Born in Detroit and raised in DC, I currently live and create in NYC.
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