‘Gradually, then suddenly,’ Detroit bankruptcy doctor gets more screenings


For those who missed the premiere of “Gradually, Then Suddenly: Detroit Bankruptcy,” the documentary that opened the Freep Film Festival on Wednesday, there’s still a chance to see it next week.

The film, winner of the 2021 Lavine/Ken Burns Library of Congress Film Prize, tells the story of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy, offers new insights and behind-the-scenes details using animations, interviews and re-enactments documenting the story of one of the city’s most pivotal moments.

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Q&A sessions with Executive Producer and Co-Director Sam Katz, Co-Producer and Co-Director James McGovern and Wall Street Journal Co-Producer Chastity Pratt will follow the screening. Joining Ann Arbor’s post-selection will be Judge Steven Rhodes, who presided over the bankruptcy case in federal court.

A lively audience scene from "Gradually, then suddenly: the bankruptcy of Detroit." The documentary premiered at the 2022 Free Press Film Festival.

Below are the additional screenings. (They’re not part of the Freep Film Festival, which continues this weekend with a full lineup of standout documentaries.)

The additional sessions “Gradually, Then Suddenly” are free, but on reservation:

2 p.m. SundayMay 1

Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward, Detroit

RSVP: [email protected]

7:30 p.m. SundayMay 1

Maple Theater, 4135 W. Maple, Bloomfield

RSVP: [email protected]

7 p.m. WednesdayMay 4

Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor

RSVP: [email protected]

7 p.m. ThursdayMay 5

Bernath Auditorium, Wayne State University, 5150 Anthony Wayne Dr., Detroit

RSVP: [email protected]

COVID protocols are in effect at most of these locations and guests may be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test results taken within 72 hours.

Brendel Hightower is associate editor at the Detroit Free Press. Contact her at [email protected]


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