Kartemquin at 50
Aug 19 — Aug 28, 2016
While American film culture has tended to be dominated by the glamour of Hollywood and the iconoclasm of New York, there have always been thriving communities of filmmakers pointing cameras at the diverse country in-between—out of the coastal spotlights but no less vital to the form. Few have been more essential than Kartemquin Films, the Chicago-based collective of nonfiction filmmakers engaged in, per their mission statement, “developing documentary as a vehicle to deepen our understanding of society through everyday human drama.” From 1960s interrogations of America’s wars in Vietnam and with itself, to chronicles of the embattled labor movement in the 1970s, on through candid examinations of race, class, politics and art in the decades since—particularly in the oeuvre of the collective’s most celebrated director, Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, Life Itself)—Kartemquin Films has given us a peerless and impassioned view of American life from the vantage of its workers, students, activists, artists, strivers, and independents. In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Museum brings Chicago’s film company to New York for a ten-day retrospective. Guests will include Steve James and Karteqmuin Founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn.