Interested in hosting a virtual screening?
Click here for more information.

We were never supposed to know her name. She was a poor Irish immigrant who survived famine and war, fire and plague. Unable to save her husband or their four small children, she dedicated her life to saving working families everywhere. The robber barons called her “the most dangerous woman in America,” but workers called her “Mother Jones.”


Upton Sinclair said of her, “she had force, she had wit, she had the fire of indignation; she was the walking wrath of god.” Mother Jones said of herself “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hellraiser.” Most famously, she told her followers to, “pray for the Dead and fight like hell for the living.” She educated, agitated, and organized the dispossessed and showed America what it could be.

With the gap between the rich and poor growing wider by the day, the just and democratic society Mother Jones fought for is under attack. Her hour has come again. It is time that her story and the fierce struggles of working families are brought back to life.

Drawn from her autobiography, letters, speeches, and interviews, FIGHT LIKE HELL is as bold and forceful as Mother Jones herself. Adapted from Obie Award-winning Actress Kaiulani Lee’s one-woman play “Can’t Scare Me,” FIGHT LIKE HELL was written and performed by Lee and directed by Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney.

55 minutes
SDH Captioned

Directed by Ian Cheney
Produced by Martha Gregory
Writer: Kaiulani Lee

We offer two basic screening options: in-person or virtual. Book an in-person screening using the button below. For an online screening, fill out the virtual screening request form.

For more information on virtual screening options, visit our Learn About Screenings page.



Screening options:
$29.95 Home Use DVD purchase (private use only)

COMMUNITY SCREENINGS (single events with license to charge admission)
$100 Small Community Screening (1-50 people)
$200 Medium Community Screening (51-100 people)
$350 Large Community Screening (100+ people)

"A most timely film! Indeed, now is the time to recall the courage of the great and inspiring labor organizer Mother Jones - a woman who not only recognized the exploitation and oppression of the Gilded Age, but also the imperative of challenging it from the bottom up. In this performance, we hear 'first-hand' from her about how she mobilized the anger, hopes, energies, and aspirations of a generation of American working people - men, women, and children - to join in solidarity, challenge the corporate bosses, and demand government action. Now, in this Second Gilded Age, when working people are organizing anew, we should not fail to appreciate struggles of the past."
Harvey J. Kaye, Professor Emeritus of Democracy and Justice Studies, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

"FIGHT LIKE HELL will motivate the unorganized to organize and the organized to do more!"
Chris Smalls, President/Founder, Amazon Labor Union

"FIGHT LIKE HELL is the untold American history of a nation built by immigrants and a working class that suffered incredible atrocities by the corporate class and had no option but to fight for the nation history books claimed we had already won. As with any story about real people, there are triumphant moments of joy and laughter mixed with gut wrenching tragedy and heroic strength in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds against those in desperate conditions. The authenticity of this film, captured in one seamless shot, is captivating and life changing. This is our untold history and it brings clarity to the existential threats we face today."
Sara Nelson, President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

"Accurate, funny, moving, and vital."
Cecil Roberts, President, United Mine Workers of America

"A moving tribute, worthy of the legacy of Mother Jones, who was an unapologetic advocate for mine workers."
Liz Schuler, President, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

"I am a long-time fan of Kaiulani Lee's portrayal of Mother Jones and this film takes her portrayal to new heights as only film can do! FIGHT LIKE HELL is a must-see for every generation who knows we must 'Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living!'"
Elise Bryant, Executive Director, Labor Heritage Foundation

"Mary Jones survived the Irish Famine, lost her whole family in a Yellow Fever epidemic, and got burned out in the Great Chicago Fire. She was as bereft as a person could be, an elderly woman, an impoverished immigrant, alone in the world. Then with only her fierce sense of justice and ringing voice, she turned herself into Mother Jones, the indomitable fighter for workers everywhere...If you want real American history - gritty, dramatic, inspiring - watch FIGHT LIKE HELL, you'll be amazed."
Elliot Gorn, Joseph A. Gagliano Chair in American Urban History, Loyola University Chicago, Author, Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America

"In FIGHT LIKE HELL, Mary Harris Jones is brought to life with a thrilling performance by Kaiulani Lee. The film provide substance and depth to the life story of Mother Jones, from her formative years amid the horrors of the 1830s potato famine in Ireland to her fiercest battles for workers' rights and welfare in America from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century. <i>Fight Like Hell</i> also showcases the people Jones fought for and against, from those often left off the pages of history to the U.S. presidents and business leaders with whom she went head-to-head. Educators, organizers, and community leaders will find this film generates lively discussion and encourages reflections on what we have inherited from the past and what we owe to the future."
Joey Fink, Assistant Professor of History, High Point University

 will move hearts and open minds. Kaiulani Lee's one woman show powerfully conveys the real sorrow of child labor in the industrial revolution, and reminds viewers of the courage and love that are needed to stand up to - and end - exploitation. Highly recommended for use by schools, colleges, and community groups."
Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor of American History, Texas AandM University, Author, Fearless Women: Feminist Patriots from Abigail Adams to Beyonce

"This is a moving portrait of Mother Jones, one of America's most consequential labor advocates. Kaiulani Lee's powerful performance captures the triumph and tragedy of Mother Jones's remarkable life and her commitment to the working class. The film will have many possible uses as an educational tool amid a resurgence in working-class activism and militancy."
Bob Bussel, Professor Emeritus of History, Labor Education and Research Center, University of Oregon

"FIGHT LIKE HELL: THE TESTIMONY OF MOTHER JONES is a revelation. Kaiulani Lee breathes new, vibrant life into the labor icon's words...Here, Lee channels the fighting spirit of Mary 'Mother Jones' Harris, the Irish immigrant dressmaker turned 'most dangerous woman in America' and reminds us all that we must keep fighting like hell for the world we deserve. As Mother Jones herself once told us, 'Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.' I can think of no better introduction to her life, her battles, and her hellraising heart than this."
Kim Kelly, Independent Journalist, Organizer, Author of Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

"Absolutely captivating...A stunning performance that you won't be able to take your eyes off as she brings a dark era of history to life."
Maryland Theater Guide
Do you like this page?