Bata, The Family that Wanted to Fit the Planet with Shoes


Jarmila Buzkova

Through interviews of Bata family members and shoe factory workers, the film unfolds the two-part story of a family and an enterprise. At the end of the 19th century, Thomas Bata set up his own shoe manufacture in Zlin in the heart of what would become Czechoslovakia. While applying the principles of Taylorism developed in the United States, which worships the god of efficiency, Thomas also adopted a paternalistic model covering not only the working lives but also the private lives of his employees. Subsidiaries based on the same model sprang up around the world, in India, Indonesia, Canada and France. After the death of Thomas Bata, WWII cut the world in two and the family and its enterprise along with it. Factories became nationalized in the East, downsized in the West. But Bata has survived the many economic, social and political upheavals of the 20th century. To stay alive today the company has had to adapt to the hard cold facts of globalization and has been forced to abandon the dearly held principles of its founder.

Original title: BATA, La famille qui voulait chausser la planète

Production: Lapsus (Esther Hoffenberg) - France 5

Nationality: France

Year of production: 2004

Running time: 52'

Language: French


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