Nomadland shows Fern working in an Amazon warehouse; the makers of the film received permission from Amazon to film on location. The work that Fern does looks tedious and difficult, but let’s just say there are no labor violations shown on screen. Fern does this menial labor to remain true to herself and the life she wants to lead, and Amazon essentially funds her authenticity.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Amazon is putting cameras in the trucks of its delivery drivers, monitors on the bodies of its warehouse workers, and security cameras inside and outside its facilities. It creates heat maps to detect if too many employees are gathering in the same place at the same time to discourage both fraternization and discussions of forming a union. And the company touts all of this, as effective methods for boosting productivity and profit margins.
Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.