Community Cinema ~ As Goes Janesville
Bud Werner Memorial Library presents a free screening preview of the PBS Independent Lens documentary As Goes Janesville, a film by Brad Lichtenstein.
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.
The evening includes comments and discussion with distinguished guest Carl E. Steidtmann, Chief Economist at Deloitte Research.
About the film
As Goes Janesville is a verité documentary that records two years in the lives of laid-off workers, business leaders, and elected officials all trying to reinvent their lives and their midwestern town amid the closure of their GM plant and America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The story begins shortly after the factory closed in 2008 and continues through a standoff between the newly elected governor and 14 Democratic state senators, one of whom is a main character in the film.
The film also follows Cindy Deegan, a factory worker going back to school to train for a non-union job that pays a third of her former wage — a job she must land before unemployment benefits expire. Gayle Listenbee and Angie Hodges both leave family behind to follow their union jobs with GM plants to other states. The film goes behind the scenes with business leader Mary Willmer-Sheedy as she co-chairs a private economic development initiative that is supported by the governor in an effort to woo companies to town. We also see the crisis through the eyes of Tim Cullen from the moment he first tries to persuade GM to return to town until he is elected to the state Senate as a Democrat and eventually, flees the state to stop the governor’s anti-union initiatives.
Both a microcosm of America’s economic crisis and a deep immersion in the country’s tug-of-war over labor relations, As Goes Janesville offers critical insight and heart wrenching humanity as the United States enters an election season that has already engulfed the nation in an inflamed and polarizing fight over how we should realize the American Dream, if we can realize it all.
About the speaker, Carl E. Steidtmann
Carl E. Steidtmann, Chief Economist for Deloitte Research, is a nationally recognized expert on economic forecasting of consumer, technology, investment and general economic trends. Dr. Steidtmann works with individual clients in assessing the impact of economic, demographic, political and technological changes on their business strategies. He is also an advisor to the Deloitte Board of Directors and Executive Committee in developing economic forecasts for the firm.
His research has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, USA Today and The New York Times, among other publications. Dr. Steidtmann has appeared on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, CNBC, and the Nightly Business Report. An award-winning instructor and systems analyst, Dr. Steidtmann was selected one of the 25 most influential consultants for 2003 by Consulting Magazine for his work in consumer spending forecasting.
Prior to joining Deloitte Research Dr. Steidtmann was with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he authored or co-authored over 400 publications on economics as it relates to business. Dr. Steidtmann was Vice President with Nakagama & Wallace, a Wall Street firm that consults on world economic trends, exchange rates and equity markets. He has also served as senior advisor and economist for the American Productivity Center, where he acted as the technical adviser to the White House Conference on Productivity. He was an economics instructor at the University of Colorado, and worked with Mountain Bell as an internal systems consultant and with IBM as a systems engineer.
WATCH THE TRAILER
RUN TIME: 60 min.
ABOUT COMMUNITY CINEMA
Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens and other PBS presentations. Community Cinema is on location in more than 95 cities nationally, bringing together leading organizations, community members, and public television stations to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.
The Independent Television Service funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Monday nights at 10:00 PM on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought more than one thousand independently produced programs to date to American audiences. www.itvs.org
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