Award-winning labor documentary to make Detroit debut October 16 at Wayne Law

 Brothers on the Line, an award-winning labor movement documentary about the Reuther brothers – Walter, Roy and Victor – will have its Detroit debut Thursday, Oct. 16, at Wayne State University Law School.

The free event, which includes a reception at 4:30 p.m., screening of the 80-minute film at 5:30 p.m. and a panel discussion at 7 p.m., will follow the 22nd annual Bernard Gottfried Memorial Labor Law Symposium. Presented by Wayne Law and Labor@Wayne, and sponsored by HAP, the documentary event will be in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the law school, 471 W. Palmer St. Parking will be available for $7 (credit and debit cards only) in Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from Wayne Law.

The documentary explores the journey of the Reuther brothers, whose 40-year social justice movement under the banner of the United Auto Workers transformed the landscape of the nation. Directed by Victor’s grandson, Sasha Reuther, and narrated by actor Martin Sheen, the film is an in-depth study of the family’s rise from auto plant organizers in 1930s-era Detroit to international leaders in collective bargaining, civil rights and worker solidarity. The movie features rare archival footage and first-hand accounts from a spectrum of labor, management, social activist and political leaders, including one of the last interviews with U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The panel discussion of the film will feature:
Moderator – Jocelyn Benson, Wayne Law dean, an expert on civil rights law. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2005, Benson clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also worked as a legal assistant to Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio and investigated hate groups and hate crimes for the Southern Poverty Law Center. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School.

Marick Masters, director of Labor@Wayne, and a professor of business and an adjunct professor of political science at WSU. He focuses much of his research and his many writings on labor issues. He is co-chair of the Federal/Public Sector Industry Council of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. He earned a doctorate in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois. Masters also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Labor Research and the International Journal of E-Politics.

Bruce Miller of Miller Cohen is a 1954 Wayne Law alumnus and general counsel for the Metro AFL-CIO. Miller is a longtime labor and civil rights activist who has been involved in litigation throughout the country on behalf of unions and worker rights. He has served as general counsel for the Michigan AFL-CIO and as an attorney for and chairman of the Legal Redress Committee for the Detroit Branch of the NAACP. He has written and lectured prolifically on labor issues and won numerous honors.

Sasha Reuther, director of Brothers on the Line, is a producer and director of American history films, commercials and special event coverage for networks and clients including National Geographic, Animal Planet and Sundance Channel. He works at CBS News in development of historical programming for various news divisions. Brothers on the Line, his first documentary feature, has earned a host of awards, including being named Best Feature Documentary at the Michigan Film Awards 2012.

Karla Swift is president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. She began her life’s career of labor activism as a rank-and-file member of UAW Local 483 and a worker for General Motors, and then became a union organizer. She served as state director of We Are the People – a coalition of students, seniors and workers fighting to protect Michigan’s middle class. Swift also has worked for Wayne County and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. She holds a teaching degree from Michigan State University.

For more information, contact Brianna Fritz at 313-577-2733 or


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