In the Loop

"Red Tail" Northwest doc aims for Sundance

Posted at 3:38 PM on March 12, 2008 by Jeff Horwich

Nothing like a random email to give you a shot of nostalgia. Maybe not quite nostalgia...

Back when I spent my days (and nights, and sometimes weekends) dogging the continual labor troubles at Northwest, some folks got started on a documentary called "The Red Tail." The filmmaker's father was a mechanic who went on strike and subsequently lost his job. Here's the trailer:

Red Tail - Press Clip from Dawn Mikkelson on Vimeo.

After not hearing from them for a year or two, they just sent out an update. Just like it's been a hard slog at Northwest itself, it sounds like finishing the documentary has been a long journey. But the film is growing in scope. They've been to Hong Kong and are banking on a fundraiser this month to send them off to mainland China to visit some of the places Northwest's planes are now serviced.

This is a "documentary" in the sense that Michael Moore's films are documentaries. And it proceeds on the faith that there's a lot of dramatic punch in the Northwest mechanics' union stories (I haven't seen in any of the footage so far much mention of unions other than the ill-starred AMFA). I'm not so sure that story line is potent any more. The mechanics story is indeed sad -- but all the more because it failed to resonate with the public.

Still, it's a smart move to go personal, and keep it focused on the father. This thing could score after all, if they raise the money.

According to the web site, the goal for this thing is Sundance 2009.

(Yeah, I know, Collins posted on this too -- but I was halfway done with this before I saw that. And he didn't mention the Sundance thing :-)

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