#KTQ50: Watch Grassroots Chicago for free all week

From today until next Friday, May 20th, the free KTQ50 film is Grassroots Chicago (1991). A film that addresses the successes and challenges of community organizing in several Chicago neighborhoods. This 30-minute Kartemquin documentary from 1991 - the debut of Life Itself and Hoop Dreams director Steve James - tells the story of the vibrancy of grassroots organizing in Chicago and how community groups in the city work for social change. Originally produced for the MacArthur Foundation by Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal, this piece features six vignettes on community organizing in different Chicago neighborhoods: LeClaire Courts, Marquette Park, Roseland, Pilsen, Uptown, Rogers Park, and Garfield Park. Extras included in this package: Continued

#KTQ50: Watch Golub: Late Works Are the Catastrophes for free all week

From today until next Friday, May 13th, the free KTQ50 film is Golub: Late Works Are The Catastrophes (2004). Leon Golub's massive canvasses depict scenes most of us would prefer not to see – mercenary killings, torture, and death squads. Golub offers not simply a profile of a painter with a political conscience, but an investigation into the power of the artist to reflect our times and to change the way we think about our world. This one-hour film juxtaposes scenes of violence and political repression around the world, statements by American politicians and others, the responses of viewers to Golub's exhibitions and an extended sequence capturing the artist at work. In his New York studio, he creates a huge canvas that depicts a brutal assassination – a reminder, he says, of U.S. subsidized activity in El Salvador. Continued

#KTQ50: Watch Women's Voices: The Gender Gap for free all week

From today until next Friday, May 6th, the free KTQ50 films are Women's Voices: The Gender Gap (1984). This documentary explores the growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women (the gender gap) that could no longer be denied by the mid-1980's. Issues like compensation equality, environmental preservation, subsidized childcare and healthcare became wedge issues in Ronald Reagan's America as more and more women joined the workforce. Still relevant today, director Jenny Rohrer's film 16mm film was preserved by a grant from the women's film preservation fund, and has recently been chosen for special screenings by MOMA and Ashland Film Festival. Continued

Saving Mes Aynak continues winning accolades and raising awareness worldwide

Director Brent Huffman's film Saving Mes Aynak has continued to garner accolades during its extremely successful festival run. The film recently won the Silver Plaque at the 2016 Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards, distinguishing Saving Mes Aynak's achievements in addressing the arts and humanities in documentary filmmaking. The film also won the Special Jury Mention at the Master of Art Film Festival in Bulgaria. Continued

#KTQ50: Watch The Last Pullman Car for free all week

From today until next Friday, April 29th, the free KTQ50 films are The Last Pullman Car (1983). "This film is a battle cry!" — Studs Terkel In 1864, George Pullman began selling his famous railroad sleeping cars which helped him build a vast industrial empire that was supposed to last forever. In 1981, however, Pullman workers found themselves in the midst of a fight not only for their jobs but the future of the American rail car industry. One hundred years of government, union and corporate policies are traced in this engaging story. Continued

#KTQ50: Watch Taylor Chain I and 2 for free all week

From today until next Friday, April 22nd, the free KTQ50 films are Taylor Chain I (1980) and Taylor Chain II (1983). "Blumenthal and Quinn preach nothing; they simply show us determined people fighting for better lives." — Chicago Tribune Taylor Chain I: A Story in a Union Local depicts the gritty realities of a seven-week workers' strike at a small Indiana chain manufacturing plant. Volatile union meetings and tension-filled interactions on the picket line provide an insider view of the stresses and conflicts inherent in a democratic union. Continued