WGBH Standalone, NPS Standalone
A master documentarian turns his camera on a city institution that many take for granted: the public library.
Iconic filmmaker Frederick Wiseman turns his novelistic eye to rural Midwesterners to fill in a missing piece in his vision of American life.
Frederick Wiseman has made 39 documentaries and two fiction films. Among his documentaries are Titicut Follies, Welfare, Public Housing, Near Death, La Comédie Française Ou L'amour Joué, La Danse — le Ballet De L'opéra De Paris, and At Berkeley (Independent Lens, 2014). His documentaries are dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray the joy,… Show more sadness, comedy and tragedy of ordinary experience. His films have played in theatres and been broadcast on television in many countries. He is also a theater director and has directed The Last Letter, based on a chapter of Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate, and Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Comédie Française. Mr. Wiseman received his BA from Williams College in 1951 and his LLB from Yale Law School in 1954. He has received honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College, Princeton University, and Williams College, among others. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won numerous awards, including four Emmys and the Dan David Prize. He is also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Society (2013); the George Polk Career Award (2006); the American Society of Cinematographers Distinguished Achievement Award (2006); and the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion (2014); among many others. Show less
A continuation of Frederick Wiseman’s 50-year-long exploration of American life, Monrovia, Indiana captures the daily rituals of rural Midwesterners in a deep and nuanced portrait. The film reveals and revels in the inner workings of organizations, institutions, and families in this shrinking farming community. Moving beyond stereotypes of provincial life, Wiseman explores the ways in which citizens’ commitment to duty, generosity, and authenticity influence American culture as a whole.