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As Goes Janesville comes to Community Cinema

Janesville, Wisconson is the hometown of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Can the problems of a company town be relevant to our community? Producer/Director Brad Lichtenstein - "When our economy started crashing I did what most documentary filmmakers do: I started looking for a story to tell. I was not so interested in chronicling the fall. Rather, I wanted to make a film about how people reinvent their economies and their lives, something that would prove valuable now and far into the future. My guiding question was this: Is it possible to rebuild our economy without sacrificing the middle-class promise of America?"

"My wife is originally from Janesville, I just started with people I knew," explained Lichtenstein.

"When [Paul Ryan] was first nominated [to be the GOP vice president] some people were mad at me that he wasn’t in the film." However Lichtenstein believes,"the film provides insight into the culture and community that produced Paul Ryan and the explanation of how a blue collar union town could turn into more of a Republican community, in a Republican state.

As goes Janesville, so goes America... a polarized nation losing its grasp on the American Dream. America’s debate over the future of its middle class has come to the forefront in a pitched battle over unions in Wisconsin. First, GM shuts down Janesville’s century-old auto plant in 2008, causing mass layoffs and residents exiled in search of work. Then newly elected governor Scott Walker ignites a firestorm by introducing a bill to end collective bargaining unleashing a fury of protest and sparking a recall election. Spend three years in the lives of laid-off workers trying to reinvent themselves; business leaders aligned with the governor to promote a pro-business agenda they believe will woo new companies to town; and a state senator caught in the middle, trying to bring peace to his warring state and protect workers’ rights. Learn the truth behind the headlines.

This film event is FREE and will be followed by a discussion lead by Terry Sullivan of Transition Vashon. This timely documentary film was aired earlier this month by PBS on Independent Lens. Tuesday, October 30th at the Vashon Theatre - 6pm.

Vashon is fortunate to have a number of innovative groups who are helping our community look for sustainable answers to the challenges of current economic issues. Terry Sullivan of Transition Vashon will be joined by representatives of Sustainable Vashon, Vashon GreenTech, and the Backbone Campaign for an after film discussion. They will be interested in hearing the response of audience members to the film and the issues common to members of our community. We may not be a company town but unemployment and underemployment, financial hardships and crisis, struggling businesses and housing insecurity, afforable healthcare and different poliitcal views and solutions are issues for many Vashon folk. How can we work together to find solutions and support one another?

Monthly Community Cinema Vashon is sponsored by Voice of Vashon and hosted by Vashon Theatre and Vashon GreenTech-A GreenTech Theatre Event. The November film, on the last

Tuesday of the month - November 27th, will be SOLAR MAMAS. For more information about Community Cinema and films visit and (Community Cinema Pacific NW). We encourage you to watch more excellent documentary films on Independent Lens, KCTS Ch 9 on Monday nights at 10pm. For more information contact Jane Berg 567-4532,