Julia Reichert Death, Obituary – Julia Reichert, a documentary filmmaker whose work spanned more than half a century and earned her a nomination for an Academy Award in 2020 for her film American Factory, passed away after a prolonged struggle with urothelial carcinoma. It was the year 76. According to Steven Bognar, a frequent collaborator of Reichert’s, she passed away on Thursday night in her home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, surrounded by family. This was reported by The Hollywood Reporter. She underwent chemotherapy prior to her Oscar victory, but she nevertheless attended the 2020 Academy Awards and walked to the stage with Bognar to accept their trophy, despite the fact that she was the recipient of the Oscar.
The director, producer, and writer also received Oscar nominations for the films Union Maids (1976), Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists (1983), and The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. She has been regarded for a long time as the godmother of the independent film industry. Growing Up Female (1971), her very first picture, was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress because it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In the film American Factory, which is about a Chinese billionaire who reopens an abandoned GM plant outside of Dayton, Ohio, to make car windshields, Chinese and American workers are shown working together despite attempts to bust unions and install robotic technology. American Factory was released in 2015.
The documentary, a follow-up to The Last Truck, which chronicled the final days of a once-thriving union shop, gained the support of Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company and Netflix after it won a directing prize at the 2019 Sundance Film festival. In The Last Truck, the filmmakers chronicled the final days of a union shop that had once been thriving. During her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, Reichert hailed the “tough, imaginative, great people of Dayton” and stated that American Factory, despite having its action take place in Ohio and China, had international significance. “It truly could be from anyplace,” she remarked, referring to the fact that individuals put on a uniform and punched a clock in the hopes of providing a better life for their family.
“Working people are having it harder and harder these days, and we hope that things will get better when workers of the world unite.” “The working people of the world are having it harder and harder these days.” The films of Reichert have been presented at major festivals such as Sundance, Telluride, South by Southwest, and Hot Docs, and they have also been broadcast on HBO and PBS. The history of American labor, the women’s movement, and radical humanism are topics covered in several of these books. In an essay written in 2019 to introduce a retrospective of Reichert’s films, author Barbara Ehrenreich stated, “There’s a lot in Reichert’s documentaries to make you angry, as there should be given the subjects they take on, but there’s also a lot of sweetness in them.”
This was in reference to the fact that there is a lot in Reichert’s documentaries that make you angry. She was born in Bordertown Township, New Jersey, on June 6, 1946, and she attended Bordentown Regional High School until she graduated in 1964. Reichert and Jim Klein established New Day Films as a cooperative for the distribution of documentary films in 1971. At the time, there were very few distribution choices available for films made by or about women. It is still in operation to this day. When Reichert was asked in a radio interview with the CBC in June 2019 whether she wanted to become a filmmaker or change the world, she quickly responded: “Oh, certainly change the world… That was undeniably the subject that preoccupied our thoughts. “I use ‘our’ because we really felt like we were a part of a big movement right at that time — the late 1960s into the middle of the 1970s and beyond.”