“[T]he film has a narrative drive unusual for a 60-minute television documentary, pulling us along like a political thriller.” - The New York Times

As Goes Janesville premieres tonight on PBS.


One of the films we mentioned in this week’s PBS post, As Goes Janesville is premiering tonight, watch director Brad Lichtenstein & producer Nicole Docta talk about making the film & what it takes to get your film on PBS. Via @vimeo. 

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As Goes Janesville.

Community Film Series: "As Goes Janesville"
October 19, 2012 | 6:00-8:00 p.m. Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

Free and open to the public

America’s middle class is dwindling, and the debate over how to save it is nowhere fiercer than in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. In Janesville, as jobs disappear and families are stretched to their breaking point, citizens and politicians are embroiled in an ideological battle about how to turn things around. A moderated discussion happens after the film. Call Drena Clay at (504) 569-9070.

Doc Awards: Recent Honors Go to "Into Eternity" "Hell and Back Again" "Bombay Beach" and "Miss Representation"

Here’s a roundup of honors given to documentaries and documentary filmmakers in the past week or so:

  • Antenna International Documentary Film Festival - The inaugural Antenna fest has come and gone in Sydney, Australia, with their Best International Doc Film award going to Michael Madsen’s gorgeous and scary “Into Eternity.” I’m very glad to see this amazing film, one of my favorites in recent years, to get further accolades. Hopefully it can get a DVD release in the U.S. soon. Other Antenna honors went to Best Australian Doc winner “The Triangle Wars,” about a land battle in Melbourne, and Best Student Doc Film winner “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” Antenna will name its Audience Choice award later this week.

Keep reading

Aaron Camp's Top 10 favorite movies of all time

Here’s the list of my top 10 favorite movies of all time:

10) As Goes Janesville – Yes, I’m going to list a documentary that aired on PBS as one of my ten favorite movies. As Goes Janesville is primarily about the closure of the General Motors plant in…

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That story of men who lost their jobs — while I’m certainly not diminishing their experiences, I felt like we’d seen that a lot. I don’t want to stereotype, but a lot of men struggle with loss of status, while women more often focus on how to maintain their status as primary caregiver to their family.

Brad Lichtenstein, Director and Producer of As Goes Janesville on his decision to concentrate in particular on women facing unemployment in the Wisconsin town of Janesville

See As Goes Janesville on PBS's Independent Lens October 8th or find a screening near you. Heck, do both! 

So when I watch Paul Ryan distort the facts about President Obama and the closing of Janesville’s plant, and I think of the plight of the people in our film — the deep pain and anguish of laid-off workers and the huge investment town leaders made to get their economy going again — I feel demoralized, and a little surprised, frankly.

Brad Lichtenstein, director/producer of As Goes Janesville 

Brad’s spent the past three years making As Goes Janesville, a film about the shuttering of Janesville’s GM plant and the town’s struggle to recover. Read his response to Ryan’s distortions in last night’s speech to the RNC and stay tuned for more on where and when to catch the film this fall. 

I’m trying to get Paul to be a little bit more nuanced about the situation on the ground for people who are really experiencing job loss and, yet, he describes it as a kind of choice; but the truth is a lot of the workers who were laid off- there were 11, 000 dislocated workers and people affected in Janesville- and they didn’t have a choice.

Brad Lichtenstein, director/producer of As Goes Janesville on Paul Ryan’s take on the economic situation in his hometown. 

Paul Ryan’s Hometown of Janesville, WI Recovers With Federal Aid GOP VP Candidate Claims to Oppose

“Have you ever had a conversation with respect to your actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their [union] donor base?

“No,” replied Walker.

“Never had such a conversation?” Connolly pressed.

“No,” said Walker.


Footage from Kartemquin Films and 371 Production’s As Goes Janesville has raised concerns that Governor Walker lied under oath when he testified before a U.S. House committee last year. Congressmen are now asking the governor to clarify his testimony. 

For more on the controversy: As Goes Janesville Demo is Major News

(The Nation)

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The clip that launched a thousand tweets is but one minute of a much longer demo for Brad Lichtenstein and Nicole Docta’s upcoming film, As Goes Janesville. A co-production of Kartemquin Films and 371 Productions, the film captures three years in Janesville, WI, a town attempting to recover as businesses shutter and unions struggle to survive.

Read more about the press storm here and check out some of Kartemquin’s earlier films, which capture the struggles of working people: 

Taylor Chain  The Last Pullman Car  Where’s I.W. Abel  

Movies often sacrifice the statistical evidence to a good story. “As Goes Janesville” does not. As the recent work of some of my colleagues shows the decline in manufacturing has very negative effects for high school graduates, who once represented the American middle class. Decline in manufacturing is strongly related to the decline in the rate of employment among non-college males (male between 21 and 55 with at most two years of college). This percentage has gone from 77% in the mid 1980s to close to 70% today. The decline in manufacturing is also highly correlated with the drop in real wages of this group, which has lost more than 25% in thirty years.
—  Luigi Zingales of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business As Goes Janesville and what a decline in manufacturing means for the middle class.