In his 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for four Oscars, winning one in 2020 for “American Factory.”
LOS ANGELES — Julia Reichert, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Behind the “American Factory”. Those whose films explored themes of race, class and gender, often in the Midwest, are dead. She was 76 years old.
She died of cancer Thursday night in Ohio, her family said Friday through a representative. He was diagnosed with stage four urothelial cancer in April 2018.
Often called “the godmother of American independent documentaries,” Reichert tells the stories of ordinary Americans, both autoworkers dealing with plant closings (2009’s “The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant”) and foreign capital. Cars (“American Factory” in 2019) to members of the American Communist Party (“Seeing Red” in 1983) for female labor workers in the 1930s (“Union Maids” in 1976).
In his 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert won two Primetime Emmy Awards and was Nominated for four Oscars, Winning with his partner Steven Bognar for “American Factory” in 2020. “Things will be better when the workers of the world are united,” he said in his speech, citing the “Communist Manifesto.”
He was also nominated for two Peabody Awards.
Veteran film producer Ira Deutschman wrote on Twitter that she was “one of the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with”.
“Her spirit was so indomitable that somehow I thought she would eventually conquer her illness,” he added. “I will miss him very much.”
“RBG” director Julie Cohen tweeted that she was “reflecting the life of a woman who made a huge contribution to the world of documentary film. And the world in general.”
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Born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1946, and raised with his three brothers in Bordentown and Long Beach Island, Reichert began his long stay in the state, attending Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio as a filmmaker. He began to find his voice.
Her first film, “Growing Up Female,” was a 49-minute student film made with then-partner Jim Klein for $2,000 that chronicled the lives and socialization of six women ages 4 to 35. was seen
When he couldn’t get distribution, he founded his own company, New Day Films, which is still active today. In 2011, “Growing Up Female” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and is considered the first feature documentary of the modern women’s liberation movement.
“I came of age in the ’60s. Millions of us saw racism, saw American domination of the world. Imperialism. We saw huge class inequality. We said the system wasn’t working and we Some became revolutionaries in the broadest sense,” Reichert told radio station WYSO last year. “Not that we wanted to attack the White House, but we really wanted to change society.”
He and Bogner worked for eight years to create the 225-minute-long, Primetime Emmy Award-winning “A Lion in the House,” which followed five families dealing with childhood cancer in Ohio.
“American Factory” put Reichert and Bognar in a different kind of spotlight. Barack and Michelle Obama interested in their film About an Ohio auto glass factory that was bought by a Chinese investor. It became the first project that Obama supported. Production Company Higher Ground.
“One of the many things I love about this movie … is that you let people tell their own story,” the former first lady said in 2019. ‘American Factory’ doesn’t come with an approach. Editorial. I mean you really let people speak for themselves, and that’s a powerful thing that you don’t always see happen.
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Most recently, Reichert and Bognar directed “9to5: The Story of a Movement,” an organization seeking to improve working conditions and uphold the rights of women and families, and ” Dave Chappelle: Live in Real Life,” after the comedian’s Yellow Springs. Shows in 2020 during the pandemic.
Throughout his career, Reichert made sure to pass on his wisdom to others, teaching film at Wright State University from 1985 to 2016 and writing a book about self-distribution called “Doing It Yourself.”
Reichert was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2006, while he was preparing to go to Sundance for “A Lion in the House”, but went into remission later that year.
Urothelial cancer, she knew, was incurable. In 2020, she told NPR’s Terry Gross that now that she is nearing the end of her life, she is focusing on the things she didn’t get to do enough of while making movies, such as her Spending time with daughter and grandchildren.
Reichert is survived by Bognar, her daughter Lila Kleinholt and two grandchildren.