Virtual Screening Room: City Hall




After the film, watch a conversation between Frederick Wiseman and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh!

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2020 • Dir Frederick Wiseman w/Marty Walsh • 4 hours, 35 mins

City government touches almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us are unaware of or take for granted these necessary services such as police, fire, sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing of various professional activities, recordkeeping of birth, marriage and death as well as hundreds of other activities that support Boston residents and visitors. CITY HALL, by Frederick Wiseman, shows the efforts by Boston city government to provide these services. The film also illustrates the variety of ways the city administration enters into civil discourse with the citizens of Boston. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and his administration are presented addressing a number of their policy priorities which include racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness. CITY HALL shows a city government successfully offering a wide variety of services to a diverse population.

“With ‘City Hall,’ his 45th feature, Wiseman has composed another epic from a series of intricate, carefully arranged miniatures, a four-and-a-half-hour sprawl of a movie that will leave you admiring its agility and concision.”
– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“A magnificently detailed portrait of Boston body politic with Mayor Marty Walsh as leading man.”
– James Verniere, Boston Herald

“Constitutes a love letter to civic governance, and the notion of democracy, at a time when public discourse seethes with scorn for urban life.”
– Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal