The Washing Society

The Washing Society

HD Video, color, sound, 44 min
When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding?  THE WASHING SOCIETY brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. ...
Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
Available for sale: Digital file, DVD NTSC

Stills

About

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding?  THE WASHING SOCIETY brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. Collaborating together for the first time, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker observe the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there.  Inspired by To ‘Joy My Freedom author Tera Hunter’s depiction of the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses in Atlanta, Sachs and Olesker’s film THE WASHING SOCIETY investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.  Drawing on each other’s artistic practices, Sachs and Olesker present a stark yet poetic vision of those whose working lives often go unrecognized, turning a lens onto their hidden stories, which are often overlooked.  Dirt, skin, lint, stains, money, and time are thematically interwoven into the very fabric of THE WASHING SOCIETY through interviews and observational moments.   With original music by sound artist Stephen Vitiello, the film explores the slippery relationship between the real and the re-enacted with layers of dramatic dialogue and gestural choreography. The juxtaposition of narrative and documentary elements in THE WASHING SOCIETY creates a dream-like, yet hyper-real portrayal of a day in the life of a laundry worker, both past and present. 

Link to trailer: https://vimeo.com/228701531

Our collaborators include:
Co-Director: Lizzie Olesker
Laundry workers: Wing Ho, Lula Holloway, Margarita Lopez
Actors: Ching Valdes-Aran, Jasmine Holloway, Veraalba Santa
Cinematographer: Sean Hanley
Editor: Amanda Katz
Sound artist: Stephen Vitiello
Live Performance Producer: Emily Rubin, Loads of Prose

Festivals and Other Screenings: Premiere ‘Punto de Vista’ International Documentary Film Festival, Pamplona, Spain, March 8, 2018; New York Premiere BAMcinemaFest, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Black Maria Film Festival Juror’s Stellar Award; Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival; Athens Film and Video Festival; El Festival Internacional de Cine Documental “Encuentros del Otro Cine”, Ecuador; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück, Germany; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC;  Anthology Film Archives, New York; Vancouver International Film Festival; Maine International Film Festival; Pacific Film Archive/ Berkeley Art Museum; Other Cinema, San Francisco.

Films

  • Other films by this artist in our catalogue

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    Drawn and Quartered
    Experimental

    Drawn and Quartered
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color, silent, 4 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Films About Film
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
  • Read More
    Still Life With Woman and Four Objects
    Experimental

    Still Life With Woman and Four Objects
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, black and white, sound, 4 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Arts / Artists
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Structural
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    Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning
    Experimental

    Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color, sound, 9 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Arts / Artists
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    Sermons & Sacred Pictures: the life and work of Reverend L.O. Taylor
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Sermons & Sacred Pictures: the life and work of Reverend L.O. Taylor
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color and b/w, sound, 29 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Political / Social Activism
    • Biography / Autobiography
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    The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts
    Experimental

    The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color, sound, 30 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
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    Which Way Is East
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Which Way Is East
    Lynne Sachs

    DVD, color, sound, 33 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Political / Social Activism
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Ethnographic
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    A Biography of Lilith
    Documentary
    Experimental
    Narrative

    A Biography of Lilith
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color and b/w, sound, 35 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Philosophical
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Spiritual / Mystical
    • Family
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    Window Work
    Experimental

    Window Work
    Lynne Sachs

    video, color, sound, 9 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Films About Film
    • Structural
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    Photograph of Wind
    Experimental

    Photograph of Wind
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color and b/w, sound, 4 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Hand-Processed
    • Children / Youth
    • Family
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    Investigation of a Flame
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Investigation of a Flame
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 45 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Philosophical
    • Political / Social Activism
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    First Steps in a Terra Incognita
    Experimental

    First Steps in a Terra Incognita
    Lynne Sachs

    video, color, sound, 4 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Tornado
    Experimental

    Tornado
    Lynne Sachs

    video, color, sound, 4 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file
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    A Collection of Films on DVD Exploring Women, Culture, Science & Myth by Lynne Sachs Vol. 1
    Experimental

    A Collection of Films on DVD Exploring Women, Culture, Science & Myth by Lynne Sachs Vol. 1
    Lynne Sachs

    DVD, color and b/w, sound, 65 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
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    Atalanta: 32 Years Later
    Animation
    Experimental

    Atalanta: 32 Years Later
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color, sound, 5 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Found Footage
    • Spiritual / Mystical
    • LGBT / Queer
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    Noa, Noa
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Noa, Noa
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm , color and b/w, sound, 8 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Children / Youth
    • Family
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    States of UnBelonging
    Documentary
    Experimental

    States of UnBelonging
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 63 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Political / Social Activism
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Ethnographic
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    The Small Ones
    Documentary
    Experimental

    The Small Ones
    Lynne Sachs

    Digital, color, sound, 3 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Political / Social Activism
    • Found Footage
    • Abstract
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    Lynne Sachs: 10 Short Films Vol.3
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Lynne Sachs: 10 Short Films Vol.3
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 62 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Arts / Artists
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Found Footage
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    Georgic for a Forgotten Planet
    Experimental

    Georgic for a Forgotten Planet
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 8 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Environment / Nature
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    The Last Happy Day
    Documentary
    Experimental

    The Last Happy Day
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 38 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Biography / Autobiography
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Cuadro por Cuadro/ Frame by Frame
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Cuadro por Cuadro/ Frame by Frame
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 8 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Hand-Processed
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    Wind in Our Hair (Con viento en el pelo)
    Experimental
    Narrative

    Wind in Our Hair (Con viento en el pelo)
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 42 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Children / Youth
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    The Task of the Translator
    Documentary
    Experimental

    The Task of the Translator
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 10 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Philosophical
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    Sound of a Shadow
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Sound of a Shadow
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 10 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Environment / Nature
    • Ethnographic
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    Same Stream Twice
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Same Stream Twice
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm, color and b/w, silent, 4 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Philosophical
    • Children / Youth
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    Your Day is My Night
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Your Day is My Night
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 65 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Music
    • Literarature / Theater
    • Ethnographic
    • Hand-Processed
    • Dance
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    Drift and Bough
    Experimental

    Drift and Bough
    Lynne Sachs

    black and white, sound, 6 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC, super8
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Environment / Nature
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    Viva and Felix Growing Up
    Documentary

    Viva and Felix Growing Up
    Lynne Sachs

    black and white, sound, 10 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Starfish Aorta Colossus
    Experimental

    Starfish Aorta Colossus
    Lynne Sachs

    color, sound, 5 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Films About Film
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    Day Residue
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Day Residue
    Lynne Sachs

    Super 8mm , color, silent, 3 min
    Rental format: Digital file
    • Biography / Autobiography
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Abstract
    • Family
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    Tip of My Tongue
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Tip of My Tongue
    Lynne Sachs

    HD Video, color, sound, 80 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Philosophical
    • Arts / Artists
    • Biography / Autobiography
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
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    And Then We Marched
    Documentary
    Experimental

    And Then We Marched
    Lynne Sachs

    16mm and Super 8mm , color, silent, 3 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • History
    • Political / Social Activism
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    Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor
    Lynne Sachs

    digital file , color, sound, 9 min
    Rental formats: Digital file, DVD NTSC
    • Body
    • Arts / Artists
    • Cameraless / Handmade
    • Biography / Autobiography