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Exit Zero: Documentary Filmmaking, Historical Memory, and Personal Voice
Thursday, April 8, 2010 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
This talk explores the making of Exit Zero, an in-progress documentary film about deindustrialization, community, class, and family in a former steel mill region in southeast Chicago. It examines questions of historical memory, the use of personal voice, and the long-standing relationship between anthropology and documentary filmmaking. The film utilizes material from multiple sources, including cinéma vérité footage shot over the course of a decade, interviews, and home movies made by steel mill area residents between the 1930s and 1980s. The talk raises broader questions about the shifting nature of anthropological engagement with media-making and documentary film in particular. Clips from the work-in-progress will be shown.
Chris Boebel is a documentary and narrative filmmaker. He is the writer/director of a number of award-winning short fiction films, the independent feature film Red Betsy, and is co-director of the documentary Containment: Life After Three Mile Island. He currently works as a producer of films about science and engineering at MIT with AMPS/MIT Libraries.
Christine Walley is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at MIT. In conjunction with Chris Boebel, she is making Exit Zero. The film serves as a companion to an in-progress book entitled, The Struggle for Existence from the Cradle to the Grave.