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Chicago Politics: A Theater of Power Part II

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0230
Run Time
0h 29m 46s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
Third of four reels that were compiled on the video "Chicago Politics: A Theater of Power." Observational documentary following the 1987 Chicago Mayoral election, with a focus on the Democratic Primary between Jane Byrne and Harold Washington and the Republican primary between Don Haider and Bernard Epton. Loose and anecdotal, it features footage from public appearances, civic events, protests, street campaigning, a Neo-Nazi rally, and Harold Washington's inauguration.
00:00:05 Footage from Mayor-elect Harold Washington’s 1983 victory rally. An unidentified benediction follows, over to shots of the city (police officers, Navy Pier exteriors, Washington inauguration merch vendors). More footage of Washington being sworn in as Mayor follows that. The benediction, filled with themes of Chicago’s greatness, continues.
00:02:19 Aaron Freeman, political satirist, performs about the “dark side of the clout.”
00:03:08 Washington plays at a softball game and later addresses his critic Edward Vrdolyak.
00:03:42 Brief clip from interview with a Hare Krishna.
00:03:50 An overhead shot of a boat carrying out the Chicago tradition of dying the Chicago River green in preparation for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Footage of a 4th of July Parade follows (feat. interview with man dressed as Uncle Sam), as do images of children holding signs supporting Washington (and Puerto Rican flag).
00:05:45 A man standing on Michigan Avenue sings. More Harold Washington and Edward Vrdolyak footage follows.
00:07:23 Film jumps to the summer of 1985 to find former Mayor Jane Byrne beginning her re-election campaign for Mayor in 1987.
00:08:25 Illinois governor James Thompson appears at Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
00:09:22 The governor later meets with workers on strike possibly at yet another parade.
00:11:41 Gubernatorial candidate Adlai Stevenson speaks at a Chicago-area Oak Park-River Forest High School.
00:12:33 A Lyndon LaRouche devotee orates in downtown Chicago
00:13:07 Various shots of Neo-Nazi demonstrators, their supporters, and counter demonstrators in Marquette Park, a neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side. White power signs, swastikas, and chants of “KKK all the way” fill the frame. “Marquette Park must be free,” cries a counter-protester.
 00:16:27 Harold Washington talks about his commitment to pass a gay rights ordinance in the City Council.
00:18:02 Art Jones (aldermanic candidate and KKK member), interviewed by news media, refers to Harold Washington as “our black faggot communist mayor.” “We call on white people, even black people, to oppose any candidate if they come out in favor of homosexual rights.”
00:19:22 Police officer tries to give instructions to Neo-Nazi driver for escort out of park, but the guy is from Oklahoma and needs to summon his "leader".
00:20:45 Harold Washington speaks to a crowd: “No one in this city … is free from the fairness of our administration! … We’ll find you and be fair to you no matter where you are!” He also takes photos with supporters.
00:23:04 More campaign footage. Jane Byrne, candidate for Mayor, meets a group of supports.
00:23:29 Republican Mayoral Candidate Don Haider reads to a group of children.
00:23:48 Various activists campaign of behalf of Sheila Jones (a mezzosoprano LaRouchie running on a homophobic "Stop AIDS" platform), including fellow opera-singers and UChicago nuclear scientist Dr. Robert Moon.
00:26:19 Republican activist complains to news media about Republican party favoring Donald Haider over other candidates like Bernard Epton.
00:27:24 Epton gives press conference in campaign office, proposing debate with other non-Democratic candidates.
00:28:08 Don Haider (a former Democrat) rides an elephant in a publicity stunt for the GOP.
00:29:16 Speaking to a gaggle of reporters, Harold Washington sends holiday blessings to everyone except his opponents in the next mayoral election, telling them instead to “drop dead.”
MPI Home Video
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Harold Washington (is actor)
Jane Byrne (is actor)
Edward Vrdolyak (is actor)
Bernard Epton (is actor)
Sheila Jones (is participant)
Stevenson, Adlai (is participant)
Art Jones (is actor)
Don Haider (is actor)
Robert Moon (is actor)
Related Place
Chicago (represents)