Independent documentary filmmaker Julia Reichert has been asking defining questions about workers’ rights, gender roles, taboos, and social change in America since the early 1970s. The pioneering Emmy Award–winner and three-time Academy Award–nominee comes to the Walker Arts Center for a retrospective of her distinguished body of work, Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film, Feb 1–29, 2020 (at the Walker’s Bentson Mediatheque). Reichert will be on-site February 28 and 29, 2020 to discuss her career and her two recent, widely celebrated documentaries, American Factory and 9 to 5: The Story of a Movement.
Schedule of Events
Double Feature: Growing Up Female and Union Maids
Growing Up Female Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein
Thursday, February 20, 7 pm Free
“I wish every high school kid in America could see this film.” —Susan Sontag on Growing Up Female
Growing Up Female is the very first feature-length film of the modern women’s movement. Considered controversial and exhilarating on its release, the film examines female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women, ages four to 35, and the forces that shape them—teachers, counselors, advertisements, music, and the institution of marriage. A time capsule of a generation’s feminist issues, sometimes intersecting with race and class, the film illuminates a complex system of institutions upholding internal and external oppression. Selected to the National Film Registry in 2011. 1971, DCP, 52 min.
Union Maids, Directed by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, and Miles Mogulescu
Reichert interviews three “Union Maids” on their experiences as organizing women of the Labor movement. Fighting for humanitarian rights, these radical workers reflect on their lives filled with purpose and struggle. Frustrated by the privileged class’ participation in the women’s movement and caught up in race and gender discrimination within class warfare, their voices echo and contextualize many social justice issues today. 1976, DCP, 48 min.
Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists, Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein
Friday, February 21, 7 pm; $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Reichert brings to light the forgotten history of Americans who joined the Communist Party and the high price many of them paid for their beliefs. Boldly countering traditional myths, the film presents engaging interviews and personal accounts that take on a new resonance in today’s charged political climate. 1983, DCP, 100 min.
Methadone: An American Way of Dealing, Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein
Saturday, February 22, 2 pm; $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors)
With tragic parallels to the current opioid crisis, this cutting-edge film follows the rise of heroin addiction in 1970s Dayton, Ohio. Interviewees share their experiences with flawed social services and treatment programs as well as society’s deeply isolating stigmas. Hope is found when a small handful of addicts address root causes of their abuse—unemployment, loss of purpose, and disintegrating culture—in an innovative program filled with social connection and shared responsibilities. 1974, DCP, 60 min.
American Factory By Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar
Saturday, February 22, 7 pm, $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors)
In an abandoned General Motors plant in rural Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new auto-glass factory. Highlighting the relationships and conflicts between highly skilled Chinese technicians and formerly unemployed American auto workers, the filmmakers examine the complex future of labor in the United States. 2019, DCP, 115 min.
Premiere – 9to5: The Story of a Movement, Directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar
Friday, February 28, 7 pm; $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Introduction and post-screening Q&A by Julia Reichert
Many have heard the song “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton or seen the 1980s blockbuster of the same name. Yet few realize that these two icons of popular culture grew out of a social movement that spanned over 25 years. This illuminating documentary tells the little-known story that starts with a group of female office workers in early 1970s Boston who worked to address such still-relevant issues as sexual harassment, pay equity, and the “glass ceiling.” 2019, DCP, approx. 85 min.
Walker Dialogue: Julia Reichert with Eric Hynes
Saturday, February 29, 8 pm
$15 ($12 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Join Julia Reichert with Eric Hynes for a conversation about her documentary films, inspirations, and collaborations. Hynes is a New York–based film critic, reporter, and curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image. He has contributed to numerous major publications including the New York Times, Film Comment, Rolling Stone, and Reverse Shot.
Featured Playlist: Short Films by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar
February 1–29, Free
Available throughout February in the Bentson Mediatheque, this playlist showcases short films by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar in conjunction with Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film.
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant: Workers describe the death of a GM plant as the last truck comes down the line two days before Christmas in 2008. Interviews with talented, experienced tradespeople abandoned in the wake of change reveal the multifaceted impact of the loss of livelihood, purpose, and friends. 2009, 40 min
Sparkle: Legendary dancer Sheri “Sparkle” Williams—one of the few outside of New York to receive the prestigious Bessie Award for Individual Performance—suffers her first serious injury in nearly 40 years. As her 50th birthday approaches, she is forced to consider whether she has the will to return to the stage. 2012, 18 min
Making Morning Star: Experience the joys and challenges of developing a new American opera. Made in Cincinnati, the film captures the delicate balancing of personalities during intense artistic collaboration. Will the opera be ready on time? 2016, 37 min.
Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and curated by Wexner Center Director of Film/Video David Filipi. Special thanks to Chicken & Egg Pictures for its support. Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation. The Walker’s Dialogue and Retrospective program is made possible by generous support from Anita Kunin and the Kunin Family.
Tickets available beginning November 12. Visit walkerart.org/cinema for details.
One of the most internationally celebrated art museums, the multidisciplinary Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is known for presenting today’s most compelling artists from the United States and around the world. In addition to presentations of works from its world-renowned collection, the Walker organizes and hosts exhibitions that travel worldwide and annually presents a broad array of contemporary performance, music, dance, theater, design, moving image, and education programs. The adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the country’s first urban sculpture parks, features at its center a beloved Twin Cities landmark—Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen—as well as some 40 sculptures by multigenerational artists from Minnesota and around the globe on the 19-acre Walker campus. Visit walkerart.org for more information on the Walker’s upcoming events and programs.