by Wanda Sabir
Though it aired last week on PBS’ Independent Lens, there is a free community screening of Brad Lichtenstein’s film “As Goes Janesville” at the San Francisco Main Library, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by a discussion. Listen to my conversation with director and filmmaker, Brad Lichtenstein, “Janesville, Wisconsin: Paul Ryan’s hometown.”
Before you watch the second presidential debate on PBS, share in a riveting community cinema experience. 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, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s home town, 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 San Francisco event features a panel of local leaders: Oscar Grande, community organizer, Poder! (People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights); Rashidah Grinage, director, PUEBLO (People United for a Better Life in Oakland); and Stephen Maduli-Williams, CEO, San Francisco Housing Development Corp. The San Francisco Public Library Main Branch Koret Auditorium is located at 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. Visit itvs.org and http://asgoesjanesville.com/about-the-film/#the-people for more information.
Brad Lichtenstein is president of 371 Productions, a Milwaukee-based independent production company that makes documentaries and does commercial work, technology projects and community engagement campaigns. He has produced for Frontline and Bill Moyers. With New York-based Lumiere Productions, he produced “With God on Our Side: The History of the Religious Right”; “André’s Lives,” a portrait of the “Jewish Schindler”; The Discovery Channel’s “Safe,” about domestic violence; PBS’ “Caught in the Crossfire,” about three Arab New Yorkers after 9/11; the PBS series “Local News,” and the BBC-Court TV co-production of “Ghosts of Attica,” for which he was awarded a duPont.
He made the ITVS film “Almost Home,” a PBS Independent Lens documentary about people who live and work in an elder-care community. He has executive produced several projects, including “A King in Milwaukee,” about an artist who makes music from his interviews with old people. His current projects include “What We Got: DJ Spooky’s Journey Through the Commons,” a documentary/fiction/transmedia enterprise about the over-privatization of what belongs to all of us.
Brad has taught documentary film production at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also founded docUWM, a documentary center that provides students an opportunity to learn by making professional films. He has two kids and a very accomplished wife.
Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com throughout the month for updates to Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays at 6-7 a.m. and Fridays at 8-10 a.m., can be heard by phone at (347) 237-4610 and are archived on the Afrikan Sistahs’ Media Network.