x

Cinema

Julia Reichert, Oscar-Winning Documentarian, Dies at 76

December 2, 2022

OHIO – 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 urothelial cancer in April 2018.

Often called the “godmother of American independent documentaries,” Reichart told the stories of ordinary Americans, from autoworkers dealing with both plant closures (2009’s “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”) and foreign investors (2019’s “American Factory”), to members of the American Communist Party (1983’s “Seeing Red”) to female labor activists in the 1930s (1976’s “Union Maids”).

In her 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert won two Primetime Emmy Awards and was nominated for four Oscars, winning one with her partner Steven Bognar for “American Factory” in 2020. She quoted “The Communist Manifesto” in her speech, saying “things will get better when workers of the world unite.”

Born in 1946 in Princeton, New Jersey, and raised in Bordentown and Long Beach Island with her three brothers, Reichert started finding her voice as a filmmaker at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, beginning her long residency in the state.

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

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

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

RELATED

CANNES, France (AP) — A month before Kevin Costner puts the first installment of his multi-chapter Western “Horizon: An American Saga” into theaters, the actor-director came to the Cannes Film Festival to unveil his self-financed passion project.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Sour Patch Kids Oreos? Peeps Pepsi? What’s Behind the Weird Flavors Popping Up on Store Shelves

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream usually draws customers with gourmet takes on classics like vanilla and pistachio.

LONDON (AP) — Lawyers for Julian Assange argued Monday that the U.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the military would expand its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in talks Monday with a U.

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovak populist Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is improving following an assassination attempt last week that shocked the European Union nation deeply polarized over his policies.

CANNES, France (AP) — A month before Kevin Costner puts the first installment of his multi-chapter Western “Horizon: An American Saga” into theaters, the actor-director came to the Cannes Film Festival to unveil his self-financed passion project.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.