Leadership education

Duty Free Documentary


Workers United partners with filmaker to promote documentary on ageism, care, and economic insecurity.

At 75 years old, Rebecca Danigelis suddenly finds herself let go from her longtime job

overseeing the housekeeping department at a non-union hotel. A single immigrant mother who had spent her life making tremendous sacrifices to provide for her two sons, she is left with scant savings, fear, and doubt as she questions her future, and suffers rejection in her job search.


Duty Free” introduces audiences to Rebecca at this moment of crisis, and her son Sian-Pierre,

as he helps her navigate this time of transition. To lift her spirits, he encourages her to make a

list of all the things she could never do in her years of working, and he sets about making them

happen. The film traces their shared journey over the next few years through Sian-Pierre’s

personal recordings of their conversations and adventures. While undertaking new experiences

ranging from milking a cow to taking a hip-hop dance class, the pair also experience

unexpected fame as their endeavors attract press attention from around the world.


Praised as “warm, personal, and socially relevant” by The Hollywood Reporter, "Duty Free" will

make its broadcast debut on PBS’s INDEPENDENT LENS on November 22, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

ET (check local listings). The film will also be available to stream on the PBS Video app.


“Duty Free” was an official DOC NYC 2020 selection, and also played at Big Sky Documentary

Film Festival and Miami Film Festival in 2021, to widespread acclaim.


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