The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar
The Last Truck opens on December 23, 2008, as the General Motors assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio shut its doors. As a result, 2,000 workers and 200 management staff were left without jobs two days before Christmas. The closing also triggered the loss of thousands of related jobs and businesses. But the GM workers lost more than jobs; they lost the pride they shared in their work and the camaraderie they built through the years. To the natives of the greater Dayton area, General Motors wasn’t just a car company—it was the lifeblood of the community. The film shows a willful neglect by corporations for the appreciation of the workers who helped build their companies. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film was produced by HBO Films. 2009, U.S., DCP, 40 minutes. Recommended for 12+.
CINEMA+ Directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar will be present for a post-screening Q&A.
Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film
This retrospective celebrates one of the most distinguished bodies of work in American independent film and one of our most accomplished documentarians—Julia Reichert.
Reichert is a pioneering documentary filmmaker and a three-time Academy Award-nominee. Reichert’s first film, Growing Up Female (1971), made with Jim Klein, was the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement and was recently selected for the National Film Registry. Her films, Union Maids (1976) and Seeing Red (1984) (also with Klein), were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Feature Documentary. Seeing Red premiered at the Telluride and New York Film Festivals, and it screened theatrically in more than 100 cinemas across the country.
Reichert’s landmark four-hour documentary, A Lion in the House (2006), made with Steven Bognar, premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, and won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. Her film, The Last Truck (2009, also with Bognar), premiered on HBO and screened at the Telluride Film Festival.
Reichert and Bognar created the interactive multi-platform web project, Reinvention Stories (2012/2013). She also co-directed the short films Sparkle (2012) and Making Morning Star (2016), which have been seen in numerous festivals and on PBS. Reichert is a co-founder of New Day Films, an independent film distribution co-op. She is the author of Doing It Yourself, the first book on self-distribution in independent film. She is a mother and a grandmother who lives and works in small town Ohio, drawn to stories that explore class, gender, and race in America. Presently, Reichert completed American Factory in 2019 (shortlisted for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar) and is working on 9to5: The Story of a Movement (2020)—two feature documentaries probing the themes that have guided her life’s work.
Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is curated by Wexner Center Director of Film/Video David Filipi. Special thanks to Chicken & Egg Pictures for its support. Film descriptions courtesy the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The Speed’s presentation of Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.