BOSTON (December 4, 2020) — GBH, Boston’s public media organization, will present the broadcast premiere of Frederick Wiseman’s CITY HALL on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. on GBH 2.
The 45th film from Wiseman, “City Hall” immerses audiences in the municipality of his hometown of Boston to illustrate a government taking care of its diverse citizens. Through his filmmaking, audiences come to realize how city government touches upon almost every aspect of their lives, acknowledging how necessary services like sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing bureaus, recordkeeping, as well as a myriad of other activities that support the citizenry, are often taken for granted.
“I made CITY HALL to illustrate why government is necessary for people to successfully live together,” said Fred Wiseman. “CITY HALL shows a city government offering a wide variety of important and necessary services to a major American city whose population exemplifies the history of diversity of America. The Boston city government is designed and strives to offer these services in a manner consistent with the Constitution and democratic norms.”
In CITY HALL, through a series of his trademark masterfully edited vignettes, Wiseman explores the inner-workings of the government of Boston. Headed by Mayor Martin Walsh, a diverse, passionate network of public servants works to keep Boston running while grappling with pressing issues like racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness.
“With his unique storytelling approach Fred Wiseman makes civil service fascinating,” said Jon Abbott, president and CEO at GBH. “In CITY HALL, he reminds us that democracy is in evidence every day through the people who make up our local government, to make life better for all of us.”
CITY HALL has been screened at film festivals across the world, including the Venice Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, IDFA, and others. CITY HALL was also selected as a Critic’s Pick by the New York Times.
CITY HALL is produced by Puritan Films, LLC in association with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Independent Television Service (ITVS) and GBH and made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Executive Producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer.
Funding for this film is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting Service, JustFilms/Ford Foundation, Independent Television Service, Sundance Film Institute, Pershing Square Foundation, LEF, and the Richard and Peggy Greenfield Foundation. For more information on Frederick Wiseman and his films, visit Zipporah Films at www.zipporah.com
About Frederick Wiseman
Fred Wiseman is a film and theater director of 45 films, primarily focusing on American institutions. In 2019, he was the honoree of the Library Lions Award from the New York Public Library and received the Pennebaker Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. In 2018, he was the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. In 2016, he received an Honorary Award for lifetime achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Directors. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won numerous awards, including four Emmys. In recent years, he directed The Belle of Amherst, Beckett’s Happy Days in Paris and Vasily Grossman’s The Last Letter at the Comédie-Française in Paris and Theatre for a New Audience in New York. A ballet inspired by his first film, TITICUT FOLLIES (1967), premiered at the New York University Skirball Theater in 2017.
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