Shifting away from the paradigmatic factory gates, this article examines what comes into view as cinema approaches the port. Through a reading of Aloysio Raulino’s experimental short film Santos Port (Brazil, 1978), it shows how the port film is uniquely poised to view livelihoods that trouble narrow definitions of work and its spatial, temporal, and corporeal limits. Through its montage and unusual soundscape, Santos Port presents laboring bodies in excess of their labor in an elusive portrait of both a strike and of work-life relationships. Unwaged, overlooked forms of work and their relationship to broader modes of life are subject to an unprecedented attention. In the process, the port film queries what is meant by work, and in particular its spatial-temporal dimensions—the work site and the working day, the key site of struggle for labor under capitalism. Crucially, the port film is also where the labor of gender is thrown into stark relief, for understandings of work-time and work-space are indelibly and insistently gendered. The article concludes by suggesting how these expanded understandings of work are inflected by the geopolitical position of port films and their relationship to global capitalism.

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