Seven Minutes. Review by Daniel Sheaffer

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The film Seven Minutes, directed by Michele Placido, discusses the symbolic consequences of factory workers sacrificing seven minutes of their breaks in return for job security. Modeled after Sydney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men, Seven Minutes provides the perspectives of a dozen different female (sic!) laborers of varying ages, ethnicities, and most importantly, reasons for needing a steady income, all of whom must vote on whether or not they wish to accept their company’s proposal to limit their breaks. Among the women are migrant workers, Italian natives, mothers and grandmothers. The film does an excellent job providing sufficient backstory so that viewers can understand the point of view and rationale of each voter, even if the viewer does not necessarily agree with her decision in the final vote. Interestingly enough, the filmmakers do not resort flashbacks to provide backstory for their characters. Rather, characters recite personal anecdotes that often result in strong displays of raw emotion allowing them to quickly earn the audience’s sympathy.