"Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story” (2016)
Director: Chris Boebel; Producer and Anthropologist: Christine Walley.
When the steel mills began closing on Chicago's Southeast Side, residents could feel the American Dream slipping away. Decades later, the loss of the steel industry has left permanent scars. “Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story” tracks the stories of multiple generations of producer Christine Walley's family, as they build lives in this industrial community, deal with the fallout caused by the mills’ collapse, and face the environmental devastation that remains. Interweaving home movies, found footage, and a first person narrative, the film offers an intimate look at the experience of one white working class family with growing inequality in the United States.
Chris Boebel is a filmmaker based at MIT, where he is Media Development Director at the MIT Office of Digital Learning and teaches documentary filmmaking. He is the writer/director of many short films and videos and three feature films, including Exit Zero. His work has screened at more than 50 film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, and has received many awards including a New England Emmy.