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As Goes Janesville

AGJ_POSTERsm_072712AS GOES JANESVILLE reports from ground zero of America’s recession-ridden heartland — the city of Janesville, Wisconsin. When bankrupt GM shuts down the community’s century-old plant, forcing workers to leave their families in search of decent jobs, local business leaders seize the moment to woo new companies with the promise of lower wages, reduced regulation and tax breaks. Their powerful alliance with newly-elected Republican governor Scott Walker starts with an “open for business” manifesto but soon morphs into a “divide and conquer” anti-union crusade that rips apart the state, triggers an historic recall election, and thrusts Wisconsin’s civil war onto front pages worldwide. A cautionary tale for a polarized country falling short of the American Dream, the film follows three years in the lives of laid off workers struggling to survive, business leaders trying to reinvent their local economy, and a state senator caught in the middle, trying to negotiate a peace for his warring state while protecting workers’ rights. AS GOES JANESVILLE, so goes America.

The Broadcast version (56 min) premiered October 5th, 2012 on the PBS series Independent Lens and aired again on February 5th, 2013. It is supported by The MacArthur Foundation, ITVS, the International Documentary Association’s Pare Lorentz Fund, The Mary L. Nohl Fund, and PBS. It is a co-production between 371 Productions and Kartemquin Films.

The DVD with both the Broadcast and Theatrical (88 min) versions, Deleted Scenes, and Extras can be purchased for $29.95 here!

Film Clip


October 26, 2012 – Director Brad Lichtenstein looks at effects of GM plant shutdown in new film ‘As Goes Janesville,’ Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien

October 9, 2012- ‘Morning Shift’ #22: So goes the nation, WBEZ Chicago

October 8, 2012 – New Doc Goes Behind the Scenes of Wisconsin’s Historic Labor Battle, Chicago Tonight

October 7, 2012 – Desperately chasing jobs in a polarized Wisconsin TownThe New York Times

September 26, 2012– As Goes Janesville: The ReviewWe Are Movie Geeks

August 16, 2012– Movie documents Janesville after GM plant closesNPR Morning Edition

August 14, 2012–  Five New Shows for People with Brains , The Baltimore Sun

August 14, 2012– Paul Ryan’s Hometown of Janesville, WI Recovers with Federal Aid GOP VP Candidate Claims to Oppose, Democracy Now!

May 11, 2012– “Video: Walker explains divide conquer strategy,” Fox News

May 11, 2012– “Scott Walker caught admitting anti-union agenda,” Hardball with Chris Matthews