Hot Docs Review: Still Working 9 to 5 (Camille Hardman, Gary Lane, 2022)


The film 9 to 5 came out more than forty years ago. A comedy that dealt with the issues faced by women in the workplace, it became fairly successful at the time, spawning a TV sitcom as well as a Broadway musical many years after the fact. Inspired by the 9to5 political movement, star Jane Fonda and producer Bruce Gilbert set out to make a movie that would deal with a serious issue in a comedic way in the hopes of reaching the widest audience possible. Still Working 9 to 5 tells the story of the making of that film while also examining its impact and legacy and showing that four decades on, it’s still quite relevant.

Placing the film within a larger cultural context, directors Camille Hardman and Gary Lane examine both the fight for equal rights and equal pay decades ago and the fact that even today we still have a long way to go. “It’s not about politics,” says Dolly Parton. “It’s about downright fairness.” And when put as simply as that, it’s hard to argue with her, but of course, the fight for such “downright fairness” has indeed become a political issue. We see it in this film through the ’70s and ’80s era fight for equal rights as well as in the rise of the Me Too movement over the past few years.

Ultimately, Still Working 9 to 5 is an entertaining and compelling doc that is equal parts heartwarming reminiscence on the making of the film and serious look at the film’s political impact. Well worth checking out.

Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs

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