Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival and NFSA
In this epic film, Frederick Wiseman continues his lifelong project to observe the inner workings of American institutions – at a time when public faith in them appears to be waning.
This is both one of the best movies of the year and one of the most complete and compelling observations of the inner workings of city government... that I have ever experienced.
Between autumn 2018 and winter 2019, Wiseman was embedded in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, where he observed city hall’s day-to-day operations. Tasks range from dealing with parking infringements to stray dogs; community events to waterfront developments; law enforcement to policy making. The most visible face of the government is Mayor Martin J. (‘Marty’) Walsh, a former construction worker and union leader. Walsh is a friend to the environment and champion of human rights. His administration’s policies are strikingly at odds with then-President Trump – making the film particularly heartening.
With his trademark observational style, Wiseman captures democracy in action and documents an organisation striving to do the right thing against difficult odds.
A reminder that government, for all its speed bumps and snags, can work. It can help. The people running it just have to want it to.
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Unclassified (All Ages)
A Frederick Wiseman masterclass – online
Complement your in-cinema viewing of It Takes Time: Ten Films by Frederick Wiseman with a Wiseman Masterclass, hosted for a limited time on ACMI’s online platform, Cinema 3.
Recorded in May 2022 exclusively for the Frederick Wiseman retrospective at ACMI, the Sydney Film Festival and NFSA over Winter 2022, the masterclass features a lively and in-depth conversation with the prolific Wiseman, moderated by Australian documentary film director and producer, Ian Darling.
An informative, generous-spirited, and expansive conversation that will interest and excite students, makers and aficionados of ‘reality fiction’ alike.
Get multipasses to this film program
3 session pass – $33–45
6 session pass – $66–84
10 session pass – $100–120
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