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Belcourt - Nashville's Nonprofit Cinema

Virtual: CITY HALL

Virtual: CITY HALL
PRICE*: $10 ($8 members) | VIEWING WINDOW: 3 days
WATCH ON: Computer, tablet, smartphone, Chromecast, AirPlay (or use a HDMI cable to connect your computer or tablet with your TV)
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Frederick Wiseman’s lifelong project to document institutions has no equal. His prodigious output of over 40 non-fiction films has captured 17 American states and several countries. Only three of those films take place in his home state of Massachusetts: his debut, TITICUT FOLLIES (1967), NEAR DEATH (1989), and now his latest, CITY HALL.

In this wide-ranging tapestry of Boston city services, the main figure is Mayor Marty Walsh, filmed from fall 2018 into winter 2019. The son of Irish immigrants, Walsh rose from construction work to union leadership to Democratic politics. Now 53 years old, he leads a city where the white population has been reduced in his lifetime from 80% to 45%. The mayor champions environmentalism, immigrant rights, and gender equality. Speaking with a distinct local accent, Walsh connects to audiences by invoking his own adversities, including childhood cancer and addiction recovery.

Wiseman is known for long films, and CITY HALL is no exception. Think of it as binge-watching without episodes — there’s a lot to cover in a city budgeted at over $3 billion. (Synopsis adapted from the Toronto International Film Festival

“It’s an epic of civics and, like virtually all of Wiseman’s docs, a mural of everyday life that is so rich in detail and insight that even its extended running time feels too short.” —David Fear, Rolling Stone

“As attention spans dwindle and the complex mess of American governance grows murkier than ever, Wiseman’s immersive dive into Boston’s city services ignores the pressure to dumb things down and marvels at the complexity of a system designed to make the world run right.” —Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Wiseman paints intimate portraits of parts of society that on the surface might seem banal and unextraordinary, but are in fact exhilarating in their hidden details. The filmmaker’s verité style of filming allows the viewer to not only be a spectator, but a student of the mechanics of these systems… CITY HALL feels like a homecoming film for Wiseman in many ways—returning to a city that served as both residence and inspiration for the filmmaker throughout his career.” —Natalia Keogan, Paste Magazine

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.


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