The Red Tail
In August of 2005, union mechanics for Northwest Airlines went on strike knowing they might lose their jobs. At a time when the airline industry is feeling pressure from the flying public to elevate its safety standards while keeping fares at the same price paid in the 1980's, Northwest Airlines (dubbed The Red Tail by its employees) insisted on a 77% cut in union jobs at the airline to alleviate costs. And this is just the beginning. Unions and airline employees across the United States watch nervously as Northwest's actions threaten to break unions and change aviation industry forever.
The Red Tail is a feature-length documentary film that looks beyond the headlines of the historic struggle between Northwest Airlines, and the workers whose loyalty and dedication built the company. From a two-plane mail carrier in 1926, Northwest Airlines has become the fourth largest airline in the world. Through a combination of personal stories of mechanics, flight attendants, pilots, ground workers, and union organizers, The Red Tail will explore the battle over money, power and pride, says the Web site for the film, www.redtailmovie.com.
'The Red Tail is a union story. Not a specific union, but the story of this country's workers that make up the unions. What happens to them impacts all of organized labor in a profound way.' says Mikkelson.
This is the fourth documentary feature for Mikkelson. Her award-winning films, Treading Water: a documentary, THIS obedience, and Green Green Water have screened at festivals around the world and/or broadcast on PBS. Along with Director of Photography, James M. Fortier, who served as Writer/Director/DP on the Emmy winning documentary feature, Alcatraz Is Not An Island, premiering at Sundance 2001, and veteran Editor Jamie A. Lee, Mikkeson will tell the story of Northwest's employees and an industry in great distress.
A 7-minute preview of the film can be viewed at the film's website www.redtailmovie.com. The impact of what happens between NWA and the unions has far-reaching implications for industries around the world, especially the airline industry. The message in The Red Tail is solidarity between workers from unions around the world, regardless of vocation.
The Red Tail is currently in the early stages of production. Contingent upon funding, the director plans for the film to be completed by late November 2006, to premiere at a major film festival in 2007. Beyond the festival circuit, the filmmakers are also coordinating an international grassroots distribution/screening plan where The Red Tail will screen on big and small screens simultaneously around the world.
The creators of The Red Tail are searching for people to join us in creating a grassroots production and distribution network. 'We need people to host a fundraiser at their home or in their community so we can get the film produced and screened across the country.' For more information on this, visit www.redtailmovie.com.