Movie-goers view Milwaukee premier of "As Goes Janesville"

MILWAUKEE -- Janesville is back in the spotlight!  The city and its workers are the main focus of an award-winning documentary called “As Goes Janesville.”  It hit the big screen and had its Milwaukee premier Saturday.

Darlene Caplan said, “It was really incredible and it really sends an incredible message.”

“As Goes Janesville” is getting rave reviews. 

“It was very well done. It gave a very in-depth look at how dysfunctional our government has become,” said Jerry Sanders.

The film takes you to the recession-ridden city of Janesville and follows several families dealing with layoffs from GM. Co-producer Nicole Docta said it also chronicles business leaders and elected officials who are looking for solutions during the economic crisis.

She added, “It shows the importance of policy and human consequences and a lot of people tend to ignore politics because it doesn’t affect them, but it affects their neighbor and it affects their community.”

Brad Lichtenstein, the film’s director and producer believes Janesville is a microcosm of America and hopes the movie’s theme of economic reinvention, middle class struggle and political polarization is thought provoking.

“The most important thing I hope people take away from the movie is that they understand the way in which political polarization derails progress when it comes to trying to rebuild our economy,” said Lichtenstein.

Saturday, the film was shown to its largest audience yet, and Lichtenstein hopes its content will evoke action.

“I want people to see and to understand how we get rid of these encampments over ideology and find ways to work together in order to reinvent our economy,” added Lichtenstein.

The makers think the message will help create dialogue across the country. The movie is set to air nationally. Beginning on Monday it will be shown on the PBS series Independent Lens.