Independent Lens: As Goes Janesville
“As Goes Janesville” 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. Directed by Brad Lichtenstein.
Airs Monday, November 12, at 9pm on Channel 5.