HOMESTEAD, Pa. (KDKA) – “The Metropolis of Metal” is a documentary based mostly on the tales of the employees who occupied Pittsburgh’s metal mills through the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties.
“It was within the DNA of Pittsburgh,” mentioned Bruce Spiegel. It took Spiegel three years to interview former steelworkers and produce the documentary based mostly on the once-thriving business that laid the inspiration of his hometown.
On Saturday night, “The Metropolis of Metal” premiered contained in the AMC Theater on the Waterfront, a location that was as soon as the U.S. Metal Homestead Works, one of many space’s largest metal mills.
“I got here to understand the sacrifice and the love that that they had as a result of they actually cared about making metal,” Spiegel mentioned about his perspective of the business whereas making the piece.
The primary characters of “The Metropolis of Metal” are the individuals who labored contained in the mills.
Spiegel mentioned most of these folks he interviewed weren’t simply metal employees, however they had been on the entrance strains of battling administration when metal went into its decline.
Mike Stout was amongst that group. He began working at Homestead Works in 1977.
Homestead Works was as soon as the nation’s largest metal producer and employed an estimated 150,000 employees within the late Nineteen Forties, based on the Middle for Land Use Interpretation.
“We had been all depending on one another’s lives,” Stout mentioned. “We lived and labored and ate collectively and partied collectively as a household.”
Stout labored on the plant till it closed in 1986.
In response to the documentary, from 1981 to 1986, the Pittsburgh Metal Mills disappeared and 153,000 employees misplaced their jobs and livelihood.
Rising up near Homestead Works, Spiegel mentioned, like these workers, he at all times assumed the mills would by no means go away, however all of the sudden, they had been gone.
“These individuals who had homes and vehicles and stuff and so they had mortgages to pay and all of the sudden they had been out of a job,” Spiegel mentioned. “And the way they bought via that’s an incredible story.”
“This was the guts, not solely of the metal business, this was the guts of America,” Stout mentioned. “That is what constructed this nation, proper right here in Homestead.”
By 1910, a long time earlier than the business’s decline, Pittsburgh was the supply of greater than 60% of the nation’s metal. In response to an article printed in The Journal for Environmental Managers, within the late Eighties, over 75% of the steelmaking capability close to Pittsburgh was shuttered.
“We at all times grew up figuring out that that is sort of what, not solely Pittsburgh however America was based on,” mentioned Diana Craycroft. Craycroft was along with her household Saturday at AMC Theaters. She mentioned her grandfather was one of many former steelworkers featured within the documentary.
Spiegel personally thanked Craycroft for her curiosity within the piece.
He mentioned the documentary was additionally a chance to teach the youthful era in regards to the laborious work and eventual heartbreak that put the “metal’ in Metal Metropolis and that he mentioned, is a vital story.
The movie is distributed on-line instantly from the movie’s official web site: www.city-of-steel.com.