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City Hall
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City Hall
IDFA 2020

City Hall

Frederick Wiseman
United States
2020
275 min
Dutch Premiere
Festival history

Over several months, Frederick Wiseman filmed everything that went on at City Hall in his hometown of Boston. He was present with a compact crew at meetings about homelessness, addiction support, preparation for the consequences of climate change, and accessibility for people with disabilities.

As the seat of local government, City Hall is an anchor point in the film, but it takes more than just meetings to run public life in a metropolis. Wiseman records with equal attention the inspection of a construction project, the police force’s morning briefing, garbage collection, and pest control. Volunteer initiatives and participative meetings show residents’ involvement with their neighborhood.

In long takes that compel us to listen patiently and to observe, this immersion in the functioning of a large, culturally diverse city goes to the heart of what it means to live together in a society. At a time of intense polarization in national politics, City Hall is a civilized plea for building solidarity.

Credits
Director
Production
    Frederick Wiseman,
    Karen Konicek for Zipporah Films
Cinematography
Screening copy
    Zipporah Films
    Zipporah Films
World Sales
    The Party Film Sales
    The Party Film Sales

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