“American Factory” director Julia Reichert dies at the age of 76 after a long battle with cancer +2023

Filmmaker Julia Reichert, best known for co-directing the Oscar-winning 2019 documentary American factoryShe died at the age of 76. Before winning the Oscar, Reichert had developed bladder cancer and had undergone chemotherapy.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the news with Reichert’s co-director, frequent collaborator and longtime love partner Steven Bognar. Both Reichert and Bognar took the stage to accept the statue for Best Documentary at the 2020 Academy Awards.

american factory, Notably, which premiered on Netflix in 2019, was the first film to be acquired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground. Although Reichert was an established veteran in the independent documentary world, she received Oscar nominations for her films union girl (1976), Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists (1983) and The last truck: closure of a GM plant (2009) – There’s no doubt that having Obama’s seal of approval helped American factory reach their widest audience yet.

The documentary is an intimate portrait of American workers who find themselves side-by-side with Chinese workers after a Chinese billionaire opened a factory in an abandoned GM plant in Reichert’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, in 2016. Reichart said in a 2019 interview with Decider that she was surprised when the Obamas reached out after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and initially didn’t understand why the film appealed to the former president.

“But I think that’s because we were trying to conquer the ‘higher level,'” Reichert said. “Recordings don’t come cheap, and I’m really proud of that. It’s a really complicated situation, economically and culturally. All over the world, Chinese miss their families. American workers’ wages are being squeezed. This is happening all over the world. But what does that look like in just one church?”

Reichert also explained to Decider that former President Donald Trump originally played a much larger part of the film, including footage of Trump rallies from 2016 and characters who were vocally pro-Trump. But, according to Reichert, “we decided that the film wasn’t about the political scene.”

Her philosophy as a documentary filmmaker, she said, can be summed up as follows: “I always try to make it about the person, not the subject.”

American factory will continue to be streamed Netflix now.

Leave a Comment