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BUSINESS AS USUAL

UK, 1987 (MIFF 1988)

Director: Lezli-An Barrett

This British working-class drama is not only an impressive debut feature from first time director (and festival guest) Barrett but also a trenchant account of sexual discrimination with the marketplace, on the plain-speaking arena of the job floor.

Glenda Jackson (twenty years after her first movie appearance and still going great) plays the manageress of a Liverpool dress shop, the domestic breadwinner since her husband lost his job The boutique is taken over by a larger chain, whose regional manager 'comes on' to a staff member, Tosie who, in turn, complains to her immediate boss, Babs. Flynn takes the matter up with the culprit who promptly fires her Out of work and without even the support of Josic (herself, now fearful of dismissal), Babs approaches the union. The shop is picketted the police intervene and the union leaders push for a compromise However, any going back is unthinkable to the now resolutely tenacious Babs who decides to dig her heels in... Good, strong stuff which examines both social injustice and the tactics and strategics necessary to overcome it, Business as Usual proved a popular winner of the Grand Prix at last year s 10th International Women's Film Festival at Creteil -PK

'Strong performances keep the film from becoming sheer polemic with Jackson not afraid to show her age and famous face in a less glamourous light Thaw is fine as the disillusioned counterpoint and Boland is fittingly loathsome as the lecherous executive 'Variety

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