Julia Reichert, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, dies

In his 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for four Academy Awards, one for “American Factory” in 2020.

LOS ANGELES — Julia Reichert, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker behind “American Factory” whose films explored themes of race, class and gender, often in the Midwest, has died. . She was 76.

She died Thursday night in Ohio from cancer, her family said Friday through a representative. She was diagnosed with stage four urinary cancer in April 2018.

Often referred to as “the godmother of American independent documentaries,” Reichart tells the stories of ordinary Americans, from auto workers facing factory closures (Vehicles). final load: GM plant closure in 2009) and foreign investors (American factory in 2019), for members of the Communist Party of the United States (“Seeing Red” in 1983) for activists for women’s rights in the 1930s (“Union Maids” 1976).

In her 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one alongside partner Steven Bognar for “American Factory” in 2020. She cited “The Manifesto.” of the Communist Party” in his speech, saying that “things will get better when the working people of the world unite.”

She was also nominated for two Peabody Awards.

Veteran film producer Ira Deutchman wrote on Twitter that she is one of the “kindest, most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of working with”.

“Her spirit is so indomitable that somehow I think she will eventually triumph over her illness,” he added. “I will miss her so much.”

“RBG” director Julie Cohen tweeted that she was “reflecting on the life of a woman who has made a huge contribution to the documentary world. And the world at large.”

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Born in 1946 in Princeton, New Jersey, and raised in Bordentown and Long Beach Island with his three older brothers, Reichert began finding his voice as a filmmaker at Antioch University in Yellow Springs. , Ohio, began his long-term residency in the state.

Her first film, “Growing Up Female” was a 49-minute student film made on a $2,000 budget with then-partner Jim Klein, examining the lives of six women. women, ages 4 to 35, and their socialization.

When they couldn’t find distribution, they founded their own company, New Day Films, which is still active today. In 2011, “Growing Up Female” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and is considered the first documentary about the modern women’s liberation movement.

“I grew up in the 60s. Millions of us have witnessed racism, witnessed US domination around the world. Imperialism. Have seen great inequality in the wise class. We said the system didn’t work and we, in a broad sense, became revolutionaries,” Reichert told WYSO radio last year. “It’s not that we want to attack the White House, we really want to change society.”

She and Bognar worked for eight years on the Primetime Emmy Award-winning “A Lion in the House,” which is 225 minutes long.

“American Factory” brought Reichert and Bognar into another spotlight when Barack and Michelle Obama became interested in their film about an Ohio auto glass factory that was acquired by a Chinese investor. It became the first project the Obama family supported with their Higher Ground production company.

“One of the many things I love about this movie… is that you let people tell their own story,” the former first lady said in 2019. “’American Factory’ has no perspective. It’s not a thing. I mean, you really let people speak for themselves, and that’s a powerful thing that you don’t always see happening.”

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Recently, Reichert and Bognar directed “9to5: A Story of a Movement,” about an organization that is trying to improve working conditions and uphold the rights of women and families, and “Dave Chappelle: Live in real life,” follows the comedian’s 2020 production of Yellow Springs during the pandemic.

Throughout his career, Reichert has always made sure to pass on his understanding to others, teaching film at Wright State University from 1985 to 2016 and writing a book on self-distribution called Self do”.

Reichert was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2006, while preparing to travel to Sundance with “A Lion in the House”, but the disease was in remission later that year.

She knew that urinary cancer was incurable. In 2020, she told NPR’s Terry Gross that now that she’s nearing the end of her life, she’s focusing on the things she hasn’t been able to do enough of while making movies, such as spending time with her kids. his daughter and grandchildren.

Reichert is survived by Bognar, daughter Lela Klein Holt, and two grandchildren.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/julia-reichert-oscar-winning-documentary-filmmaker-dies-from-cancer/507-f0c121a5-7d5c-4125-a09f-baf53dde00e0 Julia Reichert, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, dies

Edmund DeMarche

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