CHICAGO, Friday, October 12, 2012. After last night's Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden, who we know quite a bit about, and the relatively unknown Republican candidate Paul Ryan from Janesville, WI. it may be time to learn a little more about the man who, depending upon what happens on November 6, could be a heartbeat from the presidency.
A good starting point might be at tomorrow's premiere of As Goes Janesville at Chicago's International Film Festival. As Goes Janesville is a documentary about Janesville, WI. where the Ryan family has spent five generations. It is co-produced by 371 Productions (Almost Home), Chicago's Kartemquin Films (The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams), and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) by Brad Lichtenstein.
Although the film was produced before Romney chose Ryan as his running mate and shows nothing of Ryan, it is enlightening as to what is happening in middle America. What happened in Janesville since 2008, when the GM plant which employed 80% of the town was shut down, is what is happening across America with the natural comparison--as goes Janesville so goes America.
The focus of As Goes Janesville is on real people that were affected by the closings and the community at-large. The documentary follows a cross-section of these people including workers on the GM assembly line who lost their jobs to the business leaders and politicians in the community who believe the private sector can create jobs. The divide between the rich and the poor personified in the documentary is a microcosm of what's happening in America. Reasonable people on both sides with vastly different ideas and solutions.
Tomorrow's screening of As Goes Janesville will include a visit with the Director Brad Lichtenstein and Producer Nicole Docta.
October 13th, 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 312.683.0121. AMC River East 21 Theater, 322 E. Illinois St.