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Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit

Business & Economy

Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit

A Conversation with CIFF Filmmaker Sam Katz

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Doors at 11:15am / Lunch at 11:30am / Forum begins 12:00pm

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"What I learned in the course of talking to people was that this was a human story." – Sam Katz

Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit, directed by Sam Katz and James McGovern is the story of Detroit’s monumental climb out of bankruptcy toward a new era. In this documentary, Detroiters of all backgrounds and viewpoints find common ground in their search for a possible future. The 'grand bargain' remains to be seen as a model for cities in crisis.

In partnership with the Cleveland International Film Festival, the City Club will be joined by Sam Katz, one of the film's Co-Directors and Co-Producers to discuss this film.

While serving as chair of the fiscal oversight authority monitoring Philadelphia's finances, Sam started to pay attention to the tribulations of Detroit. He thought an important story was unfolding that needed to be documented through film. For six years, Sam and his colleagues worked on that film which while still in production won the 2021 Library of Congress/Ken Burns Prize for Film.

Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit will be released on July 18, 2024, the 11th anniversary of Detroit's Chapter 9 filing.

You can screen the film at the CIFF in Playhouse Square on Tuesday, April 9 at 5:05pm or Wednesday, April 10 at 2:25pm.


Tickets are available for purchase online until Monday, April 8th at noon. For more information on registration, please contact Stacy Holmes at


The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

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