CITY HALL
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CITY HALL
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City Hall

Frederick Wiseman
USA 2020
272min
V'20

Jeder Film von Frederick Wiseman öffnet Augen und Ohren und lehrt Hingabe an die Beobachtung. Gleich die erste Einstellung schleudert uns fröhlich hinein in das Alltagsgeschäft des Rathaus-Callcenters von Boston. Kompetenzen vom Feuerwehreinsatz über Katastrophenschutz bis zu sozialarbeiterischen Maßnahmen sind gefragt, die Mitarbeiter*innen beantworten die Anrufe – so der Eindruck – freundlich und kompetent. Dann Pressekonferenz zur Vorbereitung der Parade des Baseball-Teams, danach eine lesbische Hochzeit, gerührte Standesbeamtin inklusive, auch hier der zugewandt-fragende Blick der Kamera. Machen wir es uns gemütlich. Weitere drei Stunden? Gut so. Danke, Mr. Wiseman! (Katja Wiederspahn)

Over the course of a career that began more than 50 years ago, Frederick Wiseman has made films that offer a multitude of insights into what it means to be part of a community and how institutions function. Many recent works from the indefatigable documentarist, now 90, have focused on specific institutions, notably cultural monuments – the National Gallery, the New York Public Library (EX LIBRIS), even the Crazy Horse nightclub. His latest, however, stretches over four and a half hours to cover many aspects of the administrative machinery of Boston – effectively making for a portrait of the entire city.
Wiseman’s remit, and that of CITY HALL, covers public housing, animal welfare, road mending, celebrations for the Red Sox baseball team, and veterans’ commemorative events. At the center of it all – if the film does have a center, and if a Wiseman film can ever be said to have a protagonist – is Democratic mayor Marty Walsh, whose commitment to diversity, compassion, and civic values makes the film stand as a proud affirmation of the possibility of a humane, decent America even as the Trump regime puts the nation through its darkest moments. (Jonathan Romney)

Frederick Wiseman: TITICUT FOLLIES (1967), HIGH SCHOOL (1968), JUVENILE COURT (1973), PRIMATE (1974), WELFARE (1975), MEAT (1976), RACETRACK (1986), MISSILE (1988), CENTRAL PARK (1989), HIGH SCHOOL II (1994), ZOO (1994), BALLET (1995), PUBLIC HOUSING (1997), BELFAST, MAINE (1999), DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2001), DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 (2002), STATE LEGISLATURE (2007), LA DANSE (2009), BOXING GYM (2010), CRAZY HORSE (2011), AT BERKELEY (2013), NATIONAL GALLERY (2014), IN JACKSON HEIGHTS (2015), EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY (2017), MONROVIA, INDIANA (2018)

Credits
  • Frederick Wiseman
  • John Davey
  • Frederick Wiseman
Puritan Films

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