Documentary explores neighborhood’s past, future

2013-05-29T00:00:00Z Documentary explores neighborhood’s past, futureJennifer Pallay Times Columnist
May 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If you’ve always wanted to know more about the history of the Southeast Side, you should check out an upcoming documentary screening.

Rod Sellers, from the Southeast Chicago Historical Society, emailed a flier about the event taking place in a few weeks.

A rough cut screening of the feature-length documentary film titled “Exit Zero” will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. June 15 at the Vodak-East Side Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 3710 E. 106th St. in Chicago. The filmmakers will have a question-and-answer session after the movie.

The flier describeS the film as “a personal story of the lasting social and environmental impacts of 'deindustrialization' and the key role it has played in expanding class inequalities in the United States.”

The Exit Zero Project Website goes on to further explain that Southeast Chicago was, at one time, one of the largest steel producing regions in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people lived and worked here including immigrants from throughout the world.

The mills began to close in the 1980s and the region was forever traumatized by the loss of jobs, dwindling economy and toxic environment left behind.

The film includes home movies, found footage and first-person narratives and tells the story of a local family.

The movie was also shown in April at the Field Museum in Chicago. It should be an interesting and fun outing for history buffs and those interested in their neighborhood.

For information, call the library at (312) 747-5500 or visit

The opinions are solely those of the writer. She can be reached at

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