WBEZ | documentary film http://www.wbez.org/tags/documentary-film Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Syl Johnson documentary seeks crowdfunding http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/syl-johnson-documentary-seeks-crowdfunding-107996 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/SylJohnson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="348" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/69980678?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Syl Johnson is finally being recognized as one of Chicago music&rsquo;s living legends. Now a documentary film looks to solidify that status and convey the essence of the ever-youthful 77-year-old soul singer. But the crew needs some help to finish the project.</p><p><em>Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows</em> is already a four-year old project of director Rob Hatch-Miller and producers Puloma Basu and Michael Slaboch. The trio has funded production themselves so far, but Tuesday they <a href="http://kck.st/1716dhq" target="_blank">launched a Kickstarter</a>. Alongside a compelling trailer for the film, the Kickstarter project looks to raise $40,000 by August 8th.</p><p dir="ltr">The Kickstarter pitch states that telling Johnson&rsquo;s story is important because it &ldquo;creates a unique opportunity for people to consider the history of racial politics in America, the complexities of the music business, and issues of creative ownership and compensation.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">There was a time not too long ago that Johnson&rsquo;s legacy -- including his hits from the &lsquo;60s and &lsquo;70s -- could have been forgotten. As Sound Opinions&rsquo; Greg Kot said via email:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In the &#39;60s, Syl Johnson was a multi-threat singer-songwriter-musician-producer who helped shape Chicago soul, and crafted at least one classic album, &quot;Is it Because I&#39;m Black?&quot; In the &#39;70s he scored hits recording with Willie Mitchell in Memphis. But real recognition would not come until decades later when his visionary work was sampled by countless artists. He was ahead of his time.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Unfortunately Johnson&rsquo;s recording contracts were very much of their time, especially for African-American artists. That meant even though he scored 19 chart singles, he saw only a small fraction of the profits.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s somebody who sort of made his own comeback,&rdquo; said <em>Any Way The Wind Blows</em> director Rob Hatch-Miller. &ldquo;He found out that hip-hop artists were using his music and he went after money for it, and used that money to win the rights to his own catalog. Now he has his own masters and he&rsquo;s made a lot of money in a tough business.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Owning the master recordings of his catalog made it possible for Chicago label Numero Group to issue a definitive box set in 2010 called <em>Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology</em>.</p><p dir="ltr">Just before the box set&rsquo;s release, the label scheduled a tour with Johnson headlining. Numero Group associate Michael Slaboch was managing the tour.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Numero was doing their Eccentric Soul Revue tour and before they came to New York, Michael asked if I wanted to come out and film some stuff for them to put on the web,&rdquo; Hatch-Miller said. &ldquo;I filmed the interview Syl Johnson did at WFMU with DJ Trouble and I just really liked him as a character right away.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Hatch-Miller, who is also a DJ at WFMU, noticed in the interview that Johnson kept mentioning he wanted to write a book about his life. &ldquo;At the end of the interview I told him that I make documentaries and was looking for a story and would totally be interested in doing a film about you. He was open to it, so we kept in communication. It was a very organic process.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Since then the crew has filmed more than 50 hours of interviews and live performances. They even accompanied Johnson to Los Angeles when <em>Complete Mythology</em> was nominated for a Grammy.</p><p dir="ltr">Finding traditional film funding has proven difficult. This is despite music documentary <em>Searching For Sugarman</em> winning the Best Documentary Oscar last year and the <a href="http://www.bigstarstory.com/" target="_blank">Big Star film</a> Hatch-Miller worked on making <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/07/big-stars-big-documentary.html?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=pulsenews&amp;mobify=0" target="_blank">a splash</a> in recent weeks.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been trying to raise money for this film really hardcore for the last year or so and haven&rsquo;t had a lot of success. I&rsquo;m a first time feature-filmmaker and frankly there&rsquo;s not a lot of money out there for films about the arts,&rdquo; Hatch-Miller said.</p><p dir="ltr">Hatch-Miller may be unproven as a feature director, but he and spouse Puloma Basu have made <a href="http://www.productioncompanyproductions.com/" target="_blank">a long string of music videos</a> with director Tom Scharpling, also a WFMU DJ. Their shot-for-shot remake of the &ldquo;Voices Carry&rdquo; video for Aimee Mann was hailed by many as the best music video of 2012 (after &ldquo;Gangnam Style,&rdquo; of course).</p><p dir="ltr">Hatch-Miller&rsquo;s experience with WFMU&rsquo;s idiosyncratic pledge drives comes through in the gifts offered to supporters of the Kickstarter. &ldquo;We want to give people more than an incentive to support a good project, we want to have cool stuff that people are actually gonna want to have.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Those incentives include a Sly Johnson tote-bag designed by <em>Project Runway</em> contestant Joseph Aaron Segal, music festival passes and packs of rare vinyl.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;One of the things we desperately need money for is archival research,&rdquo; Hatch-Miller said. &ldquo;[Johnson] was on <em>Soul Train</em> a bunch of times when it was a local show and apparently there aren&rsquo;t any archives of that stuff. There must be some collectors out there who have it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">They also need to travel to Memphis to delve into the &lsquo;70s era of Syl&rsquo;s career, when he worked with Willie Mitchell and Hi Records.</p><p dir="ltr">Then there&rsquo;s the hip-hop interviews.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We really want to have Rza in the film, but scheduling is really tough. When something like that gets scheduled, we have to be able to go where he is with a film crew,&rdquo; Hatch-Miller explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Hatch-Miller wants to tour Johnson to film festivals with the final product too.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We want to finish this film now while he&rsquo;s around,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We want people to know about him.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Hatch-Miller points to Rodriguez&rsquo;s recent sold-out tours following the success of <em>Searching For Sugarman</em>.</p><p>&ldquo;I love Rodriguez, but he only did two good albums,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Syl Johnson did two good records in Chicago before he even became famous. I&rsquo;ve seen Rodriguez and I&rsquo;ve seen Syl Johnson. Syl Johnson is to James Brown or Al Green as Rodriguez is to Bob Dylan. And to me, Syl is closer to James Brown than Rodriguez is to Dylan.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Andrew Gill is a web producer for WBEZ. Follow him on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/andrewgill">Twitter</a> or <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/108371235914028306960/?rel=author">Google</a>+.</em></p></p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/syl-johnson-documentary-seeks-crowdfunding-107996 The Mo Rocca Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/mo-rocca-interview-104589 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.28590838527447426"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mo%20Rocca.jpg" style="height: 280px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="Mo Rocca cooks, makes documentaries and writes books. What a mensch. (Thom Kaine)" />Today I chat with a man whose voice you&rsquo;re probably familiar with if you&rsquo;re a regular NPR listener, as he&rsquo;s a frequent panelist on </span><em>Wait, Wait...Don&rsquo;t Tell Me!</em></p><p>Also a former<em> Daily Show </em>correspondent, he&rsquo;s now contributing his corresponding talents to <em>CBS News Sunday Morning</em>. Recently, he starred in the documentary <em><a href="http://electoraldysfunction.org/">Electoral Dysfunction</a></em>, which looks at how much there is to know and not-know about the Electoral College. If that weren&rsquo;t enough, he&rsquo;s also got a Cooking Channel show called <em><a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/my-grandmothers-ravioli/my-grandmothers-ravioli/index.html">My Grandmother&#39;s Ravioli</a></em>, as he learns to cook from this country&rsquo;s fine crop of grandparents.<br /><br /><strong>Who have been some of the guests to call in for &ldquo;Not My Job&rdquo; on WWDTM that you felt starstruck by?</strong><br />Well <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130739954">Dick Van Dyke was just the best</a>. &nbsp;When he sang the lyrics to The <em>Dick Van Dyke Show</em> theme (who knew there were <a href="http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/thedickvandykeshowthemesong.shtml">words</a>?!), we were all beyond thrilled. &nbsp;Those 45 seconds were maybe the most exciting 45 seconds of my career -- and I was just listening.<br /><br /><strong>If your grandchildren cooked with you one day, what recipe do you think would be most pleasant or meaningful to make with them?</strong><br />Probably my own grandmother&#39;s ravioli -- and that&#39;s not just a plug for my show (Cooking Channel, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET). &nbsp;My grandmother was an amazing lady. &nbsp;She worked full-time at a downtown DC department store (in the china and crystal dept) until she was 87. &nbsp;She would often walk to and from work, about 3 miles. No kidding. &nbsp;And she insisted on making these gargantuan holiday meals for us. &nbsp;(My own mother worked hard and cooked for us all week so she needed a break.) &nbsp;Making the ravioli (big handmade pasta envelopes filled with ground beef, spinach and garlic -- really pretty simple), with a light tomato sauce, would be a great way to keep her memory alive. &nbsp;And they&#39;re delicious.<br /><br /><strong>What are some of the Rocca family holiday-time culinary traditions?</strong><br />Lots of pies. &nbsp;Lemon meringue, apple, cherry, pumpkin. &nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>What&rsquo;s the best thing you&rsquo;ve eaten recently?</strong><br />My romantic life has been scandalously quiet recently. &nbsp;The duck poutine I had at <a href="http://www.bistrosixone.com/">Bistro Six-One in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario</a> (I was there doing a story on the Canadian perspective on the War of 1812) made up for that. &nbsp;It was so good, it sent me to another place. &nbsp;Honestly I didn&#39;t know what was happening to me. &nbsp;Every one of my chakras was in overdrive. (Please note, I do not know what chakras are.) &nbsp;I only wish Rob Reiner&#39;s mother had been there to witness the scene. &nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>What are some of the most surprising things you learned during the making of <em>Electoral Dysfunction</em>?</strong><br />We don&#39;t have a constitutionally enshrined affirmative right to vote. &nbsp;And that&#39;s not just some quirky factoid. &nbsp;It&#39;s the root of the very confusing and costly and chaotic way that elections are run in this country. &nbsp;And it continues to corrode our confidence in democracy.<br /><br />Also, people who make documentaries are people of deep faith in the value of content over flash. &nbsp;They have to believe in what they&#39;re making to see their projects through years of struggle. &nbsp;I am lucky to have worked with <a href="http://www.turingfilm.com/about/production-team/bennett-singer">Bennett Singer</a> (from Chicago!), <a href="http://ny011.urj.net/DavidDeschamps.htm">David DesChamps</a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0268266/">Leslie Farrell</a>.<br /><br /><strong>You have a background in musical theater; what&rsquo;s a favorite old show of yours you think is underrated that you&rsquo;d love to see revived on a major stage?</strong><br />Gee whiz, everything has been revived at least a couple times by now. &nbsp;I don&#39;t know the book of <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anyone_Can_Whistle">Anyone Can Whistle</a></em> (and maybe that&#39;s the problem) but the score is so great. &nbsp;I&#39;d like to see that. &nbsp;I&#39;m also curious to see if they can ever get<em> Funny Girl</em> back to Broadway. &nbsp;Streisand was so outsized by the time she did it at the ripe old age of 21. &nbsp;I think it would be great to see it with revived with someone who&#39;s equally larger than life (if that&#39;s possible). &nbsp;Maybe Lady Gaga as Fanny Brice? &nbsp;(She could also play lead in <em>Bells Are Ringing</em> - what a score! - in the Judy Holliday role. &nbsp;I&#39;m stealing that idea from my good friend Gerard Alessandrini, creator of <a href="http://www.forbiddenbroadway.com/">Forbidden Broadway</a>.)<br /><br /><strong>Typically, what&rsquo;s the first step you take when researching your interview subjects?</strong><br />Read anything I can about them. &nbsp;If I&#39;m doing a profile, I don&#39;t shy away from watching interviews of them on YouTube. &nbsp;I hate to resort to this, but if they&#39;re giving me nothing I&#39;ll go to stories I know they&#39;ve told before, if only to loosen them up.<br /><br /><strong>Do you have any tricks on how to improve the situation when a subject is being unfriendly, taciturn or just plain boring?</strong><br />Change the subject abruptly. &nbsp;Philip Seymour Hoffman is a difficult interview. &nbsp;(If I ever meet him again, I&#39;ll tell him -- and I mean this in a totally non-snarky way -- that he <em>should not be giving interviews</em>. &nbsp;He&#39;s one of the few actors who doesn&#39;t need to. &nbsp;He&#39;s that good at acting. &nbsp;The work speaks for itself. &nbsp;Giving an interview is apparently painful for him ... and it&#39;s ain&#39;t a picnic for the interviewer.) &nbsp;Anyway, out of the blue, I said &quot;You know who&#39;s terrific? Laura Linney!&quot; &nbsp;Of course she is terrific. &nbsp;And Hoffman smiled and really loosened up for a bit. &nbsp;I think he was happy to talk about someone else and he appreciated the spontaneity. &nbsp;Or maybe it just surprised him.<br /><br /><strong>Who are some dream interview subjects of yours?</strong><br />Oh heck, why deny it, Streisand. &nbsp;But I wouldn&#39;t let her know it&#39;s a dream. &nbsp;That would irritate her. &nbsp;Of course I wouldn&#39;t act like it&#39;s a chore. &nbsp;I&#39;d find a balance. &nbsp;(Yes, I&#39;ve rehearsed the interview 50 times. &nbsp;Just me and a chair a la Clint at the RNC.)<br /><br /><strong>What&rsquo;s the most difficult part about writing for children&rsquo;s television?</strong><br />Keeping everything moving. &nbsp;You can&#39;t mark time or tread water, like you can in grown-up entertainment. Kids are too smart. &nbsp;They&#39;ll get instantly distracted if the story isn&#39;t moving forward. &nbsp;Writing for them is the best exercise in learning how to write dynamically.<br /><br /><strong>If you wrote <a href="http://www.amazon.com/All-Presidents-Pets-Reporter-Refused/dp/1400052262/ref=la_B001K8W3AQ_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1356643826&amp;sr=1-1">a new book</a>, what do you think it would be about? Would you return to humor/satire or do something a little more straightforward?</strong><br />I want to do more history. &nbsp;I want it to be funny. &nbsp;Maybe more naturally funny. &nbsp;Less high-concept. &nbsp;(Helen Thomas as a turkey buzzard who had an affair with Millard Fillmore qualifies as high-concept, yes?)<br /><br /><strong>How does it feel to be the 336th person interviewed for<a href="http://zulkey.com/WBEZ?"> Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</a></strong><br />That&#39;s the area code for Winston-Salem, NC where I spent two of the best summers of my life, studying acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts. &nbsp;I&#39;ll always be grateful to my parents for sending me there and the teachers who taught me (sorry I never lost my lisp!) and the friends I made, including Lisa Anderson (who lives in Greensboro, also 336!) and Parker Posey, who has gone on to have a spectacular career!</p></p> Fri, 28 Dec 2012 08:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/mo-rocca-interview-104589 Milos Stehlik discusses the work of documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-24/milos-stehlik-discusses-work-documentary-filmmaker-frederick-wiseman-967 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-24/AP111016123205.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik and Jerome discuss the work of legendary documentary filmmaker <a href="http://www.zipporah.com/wiseman" target="_blank">Frederick Wiseman</a>.&nbsp; His latest film, <em>Crazy Horse, </em>goes behind the scenes of the famous Parisian strip club as it prepares for its first new show in 20 years. The film opens this weekend at the <a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/features/crazy-horse/" target="_blank">Music Box Theatre</a>.</p></p> Fri, 24 Feb 2012 19:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-24/milos-stehlik-discusses-work-documentary-filmmaker-frederick-wiseman-967 Will new Oscar rules mean more love for Chicago documentaries? http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2012-01-24/will-new-oscar-rules-mean-more-love-chicago-documentaries-95762 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-24/oscar statue_flickr_kara brugman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Like many movie hounds I both love to watch and love to complain about the annual Oscars. But the rules governing how and why a film qualifies "for your consideration" are still kind of foreign territory to me (ironically, especially when it comes to actual&nbsp;<a href="http://www.filmmisery.com/2011/08/oscar-tracker-best-foreign-film-predictions-2012/8009/">foreign films</a>).&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-24/oscar statue_flickr_kara brugman.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; float: right; margin: 5px;" title="(Flickr/Kara Brugman)">Oscar rules have been shaken up in recent years. For example: Until this<a href="http://oscar.go.com/"> morning's announcement</a>, no one was sure how many <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/movies/awardsseason/new-rules-may-yield-2012-oscar-surprises-academy-awards.html?_r=1">"best picture"</a> nominees there'd be. Nor, as far as I can tell, does anyone know why the <em>number</em> of films selected should be as big a reveal as <em>which</em> films were selected. (don't get me started on their quality.)&nbsp;</p><p>But the biggest brouhaha is over very recent changes to documentary selection. In brief, as of the 2013 awards, non-fiction films will now require not just a theatrical release, but also a review in either the <em>New York Times</em> or <em>L.A. Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/movies/documentarians-concerned-about-proposed-oscar-rule.html?_r=1&amp;pagewanted=all">to qualify</a>.</p><p>Some doc fans view this development with suspicion. Does this give too much clout to a top-flight but small group of newspaper film critics and their editors? <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/01/09/michael_moore_and_the_oscars_get_it_right/singleton/%20">Others </a>argue the new rules are a vast improvement on the previous system. The man charged with the changes - documentarian Michael Moore of <em>Fahrenheit 9/11</em> and <em>Roger and Me</em> fame - hopes they'll at least prevent a<a href="http://www.thewrap.com/awards/column-post/michael-moore-im-bringing-democracy-oscar-doc-process-34240"> "<em>Hoop Dreams</em> [from] happening again."&nbsp;</a></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-24/interrupters photo.jpeg" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="">That would no doubt be welcome news for Steve James, who didn't make it to Oscar prime time with <em>Hoop Dreams</em> in 1995 and whose critical hit <em>The Interrupters</em> was overlooked by the Academy this year. Not surprisingly, James'&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiewire.com/article/exclusive-the-interrupters-director-steve-james-weighs-in-on-the-new-doc-rules">take</a> on the new system for documentary selection is as subtle as his film's view of Chicago violence.</p><p>You'll hear more from him on this morning's <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/848">Eight Forty-Eight </a></em>- I'm curious to know whether he thinks the changes mean real transparency for what sounds like a terribly convoluted process. &nbsp;</p><p>The harder question to answer may be this: Why can't Hollywood, the epicenter of movie production world-wide and the host of an annual awards ceremony that largely celebrates that fact, figure out how to put on an awards show that is actually good? Then again, maybe running rough shod over the usual space-time conventions of prime time television (over 3 hours long - really?) and putting your <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/awards/column-post/billy-crystal-says-hed-host-fresh-oscars-25632">talent through the mill</a> is real Hollywood style?&nbsp;</p><p>So, if you want to dish about the Oscars - including which films did and did not get the nod - join me and a group of local film critics at the <a href="http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/oscarnight2012">Gene Siskel Film Center</a> today at noon. Leave the gown/tuxedo at home; bring lunch (cannoli welcome).&nbsp;</p><p>Hear <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>'s Tony Sarabia's conversation with Steve James here:<br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483862-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/1-24 Oscar Docs.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Tue, 24 Jan 2012 10:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2012-01-24/will-new-oscar-rules-mean-more-love-chicago-documentaries-95762 Film ‘Beneath The Blindfold’ documents the lives of torture survivors in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/film-%E2%80%98beneath-blindfold%E2%80%99-documents-lives-torture-survivors-chicago-95430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-10/torture.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The new documentary <a href="http://www.beneaththeblindfold.org/Home.html" target="_blank"><em>Beneath the Blindfold</em></a> delves into a gritty topic that's rarely discussed: how survivors of torture struggle to rebuild their lives.</p><p>In the film, four diverse individuals - a nursing home aide from Africa, an actor from Colombia, a U.S. navy veteran from Chicago, and a physician from Guatemala - share their battle to heal the physical and psychological wounds of torture, and reclaim their dignity. These individuals represent just four of the 500,000 torture survivors who currently live in the U.S.</p><p><em>Worldview</em> talks to Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer, the directors of the film, about the story they are trying to tell. Dr. Mary Fabri, a psychologist and senior director at the <a href="http://www.heartlandalliance.org/kovler/" target="_blank">Marjorie Kovler Center</a>, also provides analysis on how the effects of torture linger in our community. A part of Heartland Alliance, The Kovler Center is the pioneering torture treatment center that’s operated in Chicago for more than 25 years.</p><p><em>Beneath the Blindfold <a href="http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/beneath-blindfold" target="_blank">debuts</a> this Friday at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The film also runs next week on Thursday, January 19.</em></p></p> Tue, 10 Jan 2012 17:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/film-%E2%80%98beneath-blindfold%E2%80%99-documents-lives-torture-survivors-chicago-95430 A surprise happy ending for Schiller Park family in ‘Tony and Janina’s American Wedding’ http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-31/surprise-happy-ending-schiller-park-family-%E2%80%98tony-and-janina%E2%80%99s-american-w <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-31/tonyjanina2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483706-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/wv_20110831a.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>After fleeing communist Poland in the late 1980s, Tony and Janina Wasilewski met and married in Chicago. For them, the United States was home. Residents of suburban Schiller Park, the couple operated a small cleaning business and were parents to an American-born son.</p><p>But Tony and Janina’s plans for the future turned upside down in 2007, when the government denied Janina a green card even though she had come to the United States legally. She was subsequently deported and, under U.S. law, she was forbidden from returning for another ten years.&nbsp;</p><p>Their tale was chronicled in the 2010 documentary <em><a href="http://tonyandjanina.com/" target="_blank">Tony &amp; Janina’s American Wedding</a></em> and became emblematic of the broken U.S. immigration system.</p><p>However, the U.S. government provided an addendum to Tony and Janina’s story earlier this month when immigration officials granted a rare waiver.&nbsp; The move followed several previous rejections for such, and allowed her to return home to Illinois and reunite with her husband.</p><p>"It's a miracle," Tony told <em>Worldview </em>host Jerome McDonnell.</p><p>"Yeah, like, a miracle happened," Janina agreed.</p><p>It's been almost a month since the family has resumed its life together in west suburban Schiller Park, but Janina says she's still savoring every moment. "I enjoy it every day because I'm with my husband now and I love the U.S.," she said. "I'm a really happy person right now."</p><p><em>Worldview</em> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/family-immigration-drama-inspires-documentary-film" target="_blank">talked</a> with Tony about his splintered family last year, but invited the newly reunited couple and their immigration lawyer, Chicago attorney Royal Berg, back to WBEZ's studios for an extended conversation about the new developments and their implications.</p><p>Tony &amp; Janina’s American Wedding<em> is <a href="http://tasteofpolonia.copernicusfdn.org/schedule/" target="_blank">screening</a> next Monday, September 5, at 6PM at the Copernicus Center, as part of the </em>Taste of Polonia<em> festival. Tony, Janina and director Ruth Leitman will be at the screening.</em></p><p><strong>Watch the trailer for <em>Tony &amp; Janina's Wedding</em>:</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6NZGQwSO4xw" width="420" frameborder="0" height="345"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-31/surprise-happy-ending-schiller-park-family-%E2%80%98tony-and-janina%E2%80%99s-american-w 'Roll Out, Cowboy' roams and raps across the Midwest http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/roll-out-cowboy-roams-and-raps-across-midwest-89464 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-21/rolloutcowboy2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chris “Sandman” Sand is a 39-year-old cowboy from North Dakota. But when it comes to music, he doesn’t dig country tunes; he creates rap music. The documentary<em><a href="http://www.rolloutcowboy.com/" target="_blank"> Roll Out, Cowboy</a> </em>follows Sand and his friends on tour across the Midwest. The film kicks off its 10-day run at <a href="http://www.facets.org/pages/cinematheque/cinematheque.php" target="_blank">Facets Cinematheque</a> in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood Friday, July 22. Jonathan Miller brought <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> a review.</p><p>To see the Sandman off the screen in and in the flesh, head to Facets Cinematheque this weekend. He and director Elizabeth Lawrence will be there for post-screening Q &amp; A sessions.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Jul 2011 15:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/roll-out-cowboy-roams-and-raps-across-midwest-89464 'Just Like Us' chronicles Muslim-American comedians’ tour of the Middle East http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-17/just-us-chronicles-muslim-american-comedians%E2%80%99-tour-middle-east-88003 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-17/JLUposter_lores.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The new documentary <a href="http://justlikeusthemovie.com/" target="_blank"><em>Just Like Us</em></a> makes its Chicago debut today at the Landmark Theater. It chronicles what happens when a group of ethnically diverse comedians do a standup tour in the Middle East. Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed, director and star of the film, speaks with <em>Worldview</em> film contributor Milos Stehlik.</p></p> Fri, 17 Jun 2011 17:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-17/just-us-chronicles-muslim-american-comedians%E2%80%99-tour-middle-east-88003