Exit Zero is a work-in-process feature-length documentary film that tells a personal story of the lasting social and environmental impacts of “deindustrialization” and the key role it has played in expanding class inequalities in the United States.
Interweaving home movies, found footage, and a first person narrative, the film traces the stories of multiple generations of producer Christine Walley’s family in the once-thriving steel mill community of Southeast Chicago. From the turn-of-the-century experience of immigrants who worked in Chicago’s mammoth industries to the labor struggles of the 1930s to the seemingly unfathomable closure of the steel mills in the 1980s and 90s, these family stories convey a history that serves as a microcosm of the broader national experience of deindustrialization and its economic and environmental aftermath. The husband and wife filmmaking team (Chris Boebel, director/editor/co-writer and Christine Walley, producer/co-writer), use family stories to offer an unusually intimate look at the changing class landscape of the United States and the uncertain future faced by working people. Exit Zero is the recipient of a 2012 LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund Production Grant.
Presented by Media and Screen Studies, Art + Design, and Northeastern Center for the Arts.
Hosted by Alessandra Renzi, Assistant Professor in Emergent Media for the Department of Art + Design and for the Program in Media and Screen Studies and David Tamés, Visiting Assistant Academic Specialist, Documentary Filmmaker.
Exit Zero Trailer