For Immediate Release                                                                                    WXXI logo
Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253


A Film That Explores America’s Debate over the Future of its Middle Class

(Rochester, New York) October 11, 2012 – WXXI will host a free screening of As Goes Janesville on Monday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Little Theatre (240 East Avenue). Part of WXXI’s Community Cinema series, the film will be followed by a talkback. The event is free, and open to the public. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

Janesville, Wisconsin, home of Governor Mitt Romney’s running mate Congressman Paul Ryan, is the setting for Brad Lichtenstein’s As Goes Janesville. The film catapults viewers to the front lines of America’s debate over the future of its middle class — a debate that has become a pitched battle over unions in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. First, General Motors shuts down Janesville’s century-old plant, causing mass layoffs and exiling residents who must leave 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. As goes Janesville, so goes America, a polarized nation losing its grasp on the American Dream. 

The screening will be followed by a talk back with the audience and a guest panel. Panelists include: Barbara LeSavoy, PhD, Director and faculty of Women and Gender Studies at  the College at Brockport-SUNY; Dr. Melody Boyd,  Assistant Professor of Sociology at the College at Brockport-SUNY; and Jim Bertlone, President of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Labor Federation.

Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative that brings together leading organizations, community members and public television stations to learn, discuss and get involved in today’s critical issues. The national project is supported in part by Independent Lens, PBS, CPB, National Endowment for the Arts, Women & Girls Lead, National Center for Media Engagement and ITVS.

WXXI’s Community Cinema screens films the last Monday of every month (with the exception of December). For a complete list of films and descriptions, visit:


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. The formal affiliation between WXXI and the Little Theatre, established in December 2011, enables the two organizations to work more efficiently by pooling resources and strengths in a number of areas including back-office operation and improved fundraising capabilities.  Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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