Some food for thought (and some actual food) before this evening's concluding presidential debate: As part of the ITVS Community Cinema Screenings program, the Nashville Public Library hosts the local premiere of the full-length version of the award-winning documentary As Goes Janesville at 6:15 p.m., preceded by a reception and followed by a panel discussion. The New York Times' Mike Hale praised the movie, shot over years in GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisc.:
In 2008, Brad Lichtenstein began filming a modest documentary about the effects of the recession, specifically the closing of a General Motors plant, on Janesville, Wis., a small Midwestern city. That’s how he found himself, a few years later, with an up-close view of one of the meanest and most dramatic chapters in recent American politics: the battle over collective-bargaining rights for Wisconsin state employees and the subsequent effort to recall the Republican governor, Scott Walker, from office.
His film, “As Goes Janesville,” which has its premiere on Monday night in the PBS documentary series “Independent Lens,” remains modest. And it seems likely that the plight of former workers at the Janesville assembly plant receives less attention than Mr. Lichtenstein originally planned to give them. The trade-off is that the film has a narrative drive unusual for a 60-minute television documentary, pulling us along like a political thriller.
The City Paper editor Steve Cavendish moderates a post-film panel with As Goes Janesville national engagement director Sachin Chheda; Tom Negri, managing director of Loews Vanderbilt Hotel; Caroline Blackwell, executive director of the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission; Dan Cornfield, Vanderbilt professor of sociology and editor of Work and Occupations sociological journal; and Vanderbilt professor of sociology and Neo-Bohemia author Richard Lloyd. The screening and discussion are free and open to the public, as is the reception preceding the film at 5:45. More information below.
As Goes Janesville premieres in Nashville on October 16
WHAT: As Goes Janesville Nashville Premiere Screening
WHEN: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
5:45 p.m. Catered Reception
6:15 p.m. Screening and BizLab panel discussion with community members and As Goes Janesville National Engagement Director Sachin Chheda.
WHERE: Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street, Nashville
AS GOES JANESVILLE reports from ground zero of America’s recession-ridden heartland — the city of Janesville, Wisconsin, home of Congressman Paul Ryan, Republican candidate for vice president. When bankrupt GM shuts down the community’s century-old plant, forcing workers to leave their families in search of decent jobs, local business leaders seize the moment to woo new companies. A cautionary tale for a polarized country falling short of the American Dream, the film follows three years in the lives of laid-off workers struggling to survive, business leaders trying to reinvent their local economy and a state senator caught in the middle. AS GOES JANESVILLE, so goes America.
A co-production between 371 Productions, Kartemquin Films and Independent Television Service (ITVS), AS GOES JANESVILLE has won Best Documentary at three festivals in the first seven weeks of release. It also has garnered a Special Jury Award, a Best Documentary Audience Award, and a Best Director (Documentary) Award. A shorter TV-length version of AS GOES JANESVILLE premiered October 8 on the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS.