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Sam Mayfield

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Since 2004, Mayfield has documented stories that remain untold in the corporate media landscape. She loves working with and encouraging people to make their own media. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV and other progressive media outlets,and has taken her to Mexico, India, West Africa, and Palestine.

Wisconsin Rising is Mayfield’s 2nd documentary. In 2010, Mayfield made the 26-minute documentary film, Silenced Voices, that tells the story of a young migrant farmworker who was killed while working on a Vermont dairy farm. Mayfield and two other Vermonters traveled to Mexico to return the boy’s body to his family. There they interviewed family and community members about the impacts of migration. Silenced Voices has been a useful tool in educating lawmakers and citizens in Vermont about immigration issues.

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Wisconsin Rising (DVD)
Directors and Producers: Sam Mayfield, Green Valley Media, and E.W. Stetson
Publisher: PM Press/Lower Third Productions
ISBN: 978-1-62963-093-9 UPC: 760137654896
Published: 11/18/2014
Format: DVDs (NTSC)
Size: 7.5 x 5.5
Length: 60 minutes
Subjects: Labor Issues, Current Events

Wisconsin Rising documents the largest sustained workers' resistance movement in American history. Wisconsin was a testing ground for the nation in 2011 as big money attempted to undo basic workers' rights when newly-elected Republican Governor Scott Walker suddenly stripped collective bargaining power from the state's public employees.

Wisconsin Rising catapults the viewer into the days, weeks, and months when Wisconsinites fought back against power, authority, and injustice. Happening months before the Occupy movement, Wisconsinites spontaneously occupied their state Capitol for weeks as never before seen in American History.

As the story unfolds, democracy itself is at stake. The government in Wisconsin looks like a circus, as Republicans invent new laws daily, restricting citizens'—and even elected officials'—access to the State House. Our cameras are rolling on March 9th, 2011, when Republican Senators attempt to vote on the bill with no public notice as over 10,000 people pour into the Capitol, occupying its halls overnight. Dramatic footage shows Republican Senators fleeing the state capitol on a secret shuttle as thousands of Wisconsinites fill the State House and Capitol grounds in protest.

Collecting more than one million signatures, the people attempt to oust Scott Walker in a recall election. He is only the third governor in American history to face a recall election and is the first to survive.

What will the people of Wisconsin do in the face of these perceived injustices? How will the citizens rebuild and reorganize, and what can the rest of America learn from their actions?

DVD extras include interviews with Dennis Kucinich and Tom Morello.


"Amy Goodman reports, “Sam Mayfield’s Wisconsin Rising is up-close and personal...and political. This slice of life, a moment in movement history, captures the struggles of the American Middle Class confronting the corrupting power of money over democracy. Don’t miss it."—Amy Goodman, Host & Executive Producer, Democracy Now!
Robert McChesney calls Wisconsin Rising "the definitive film" on the events in Wisconsin and says "it captures the spirit and intensity of the dramatic events as they unfolded, and reminds us that we cannot predict the future, and we should not forget our past, even our recent part." —Robert McChesney, PhD, Professor at the University of Illinois

"Her documentary, Wisconsin Rising, is a fast and fresh telling of the old story: Money versus The People. The ending is bitter: the oligarchs win this round. But it only reminds us that the struggle in Wisconsin, like the battle Concord two centuries ago, is a loss that inspires the ultimate victory of Independence. 
Wisconsin Rising is the movie of the revolution."
—Greg Palast, Investigative Journalist

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