Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Triangle: Remembering the Fire

posted by Nell Minow

One hundred years ago this week, 146 people were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a tragedy compounded because it was the result of preventable neglect and safety violations. An excellent new documentary, Triangle: Remembering the Fire, is showing this month on HBO. The film includes interviews with family members of those who were injured or killed in what was the deadliest industrial tragedy in New York history as well as the descendants of the factory owners, who were there with their children the day of the fire but were able to escape. Some members of their extended family were also working there and were killed. Most of the people who died were immigrant women who were trapped when the fire started, in some cases because the doors were locked to keep them inside. Many were killed not by the fire but by leaping out of the windows in a desperate attempt to escape after the flimsy fire escape collapsed. Six of the victims were not identified until February of this year, 100 years later.

The film documents not just the terrible events of March 25, 1911 but also the reform efforts they inspired. The company’s managers failed to make even the most rudimentary efforts at safety for the workers. While those injured and the families of those killed were not entitled to any benefits, the managers were reimbursed by insurance and were not responsible for any fines or compensation for the losses. This led to the first recognition that the industrial era required the involvement of organized labor and government to ensure that basic protections were in place, a crucial turning point in the history of public policy and politics. The film was inspired when a previous film from the same producers about the garment industry began with a short mention of the Triangle factory fire and ended with a similar recent story about a fire at a factory in Bangladesh. Its lessons are as important today as they were a century ago.

Triangle: Remembering the FireTriangle: Remembering the Fire TV Schedule

For more information, see: The lesson guide for teachers and students on the HBO website, American Experience: Triangle Fire, Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, and The Triangle Fire: A Brief History with Documents



  • Pingback: World Spinner

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tim1974

    It is certainly sad to realize that it took such a tragedy and loss of life for society to recognize that changes in the industrial north needed to be made. Just as appalling is the fact that those responsible for such a disaster did not feel it necessary to help out the families who had survivors or change any industry policies until being forced to. This leads to the question of whether society has learned from the past or does it continue to overlook or ignore issues that need attention today.

    • Nell Minow

      That is the question, Tim, which is why I am so glad this film is showing on HBO — and that CNN broadcast it yesterday as well.

Previous Posts

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day 2
Day 2 of Comic-Con included: an interview with "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2" screenwriter Thunder Levin, a buggy lunch with Boxtrolls, press events with the directors and casts of four films, and appearing on the Rotten Tomatoes panel, where each attendee was given a paddle with a ripe tomato on on

posted 10:04:47pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Thank You! This Site is 19 Years Old This Week!
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®.  Anyone remember Prodigy?  The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long ago it does not even turn up in Wayback searches.  At the time, we

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Dan Cohen of "Alive Inside"
Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.  He is featured in the documentary "Alive Inside." He is the founder of Music and Memory, which provides resources to help bring these programs to peopl

posted 8:00:36am Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: "Lullaby" -- Family Drama With Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, and Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund stars as Jonathan in this uneven but moving drama about a family facing the loss of a husband and father. The performances are excellent, especially Richard Jenkins as the father and "Downton Abbey's" Jessica Brown Findlay as Jonathan's sister. I have two copies of the DVD to give

posted 3:50:33pm Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.