Through a “mirror in mirror” technique and dramatic turns, the movie continues to focus on the labor unrest, role of arts in reflecting it and the capitalist repression on the leftist labor unrest accusing it as “un-American activities”. In the movie, when the musical serves as the symbol of the role and reflection of arts during the labor unrest, the HCUA’s ban on the musical is one of the many symbols of the bourgeois repressive reaction to the labor union and unrest.
The surprising turn of the movie is that it does not simply recount the Great Depression stories. rather it itself holds a socialist message that workers should unite themselves against any exploitation. In this message establishes the movie as a link between the past and the present. Again the movie’s most memorable moments such as the character-playwright Marc Blitzstein’s decision to perform on the stage in the face of prohibition and being joined by other casts of the union, the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural because of the artist’s refusal to remove Lenin’s head earnestly plead a moviegoer to rethink of the boundaries among art, politics and power.