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Powerful Fun

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0135
Run Time
0h 11m 5s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
1985 - 1986
Footage of Chicago political figures leading up to the 1985, 1986 and 1987 elections.
Begins with close, low-angle footage of Mayor Harold Washington speaking at a podium in early 1985. He endorses Dorothy Tillman as the aldermanic candidate in Chicago's 3rd Ward, and discusses the "problem" he has with "forces within this city" trying to sow dissension and using the 3rd Ward as a “testing ground” for the 1987 Mayoral election.

The next scene captures Dorothy Tillman speaking with reporters. Andy Shaw asks Tillman if she is "angry" with Washington for "derogatory things he allegedly said" (she says no, saying he has always supported her). This is followed by footage from later that day, where Tillman and Washington address the 3rd Ward Democratic Organization together (possibly at Operation PUSH). While introducing Washington, Tillman calls the “feud” between her and Washington “BS.” Washington talks about discipline.

Next, Jane Byrne is filmed outside Navy Pier on a bright day, announcing that she will run for mayor again in 1987. Next to her is Joe Pecor (her campaign advisor from Milwaukee) and Byrne's husband Jay McMullen. This is followed by two short clips shot off of a television screen, one of which features Byrne and Sesame Street's Big Bird together.

This is followed by footage of striking Chicago Tribune workers holding a nighttime rally. Then, during day, the strikers sing "Solidarity Forever" and wave signs.

The rest of the film documents Washington campaigning for various local aldermanic candidates who were running in the 1985 Special Election in seven redrawn Chicago wards. First, he knocks on doors in Pilsen and Little Village with 22nd Ward candidate Jesús "Chuy" García (with help from Chicago Bears' defensive end Richard Dent). Next, he talks to constituents with 18th Ward candidate Monica Faith Stewart and Marty Oberman, who was running for Illinois attorney general. Two men staple a campaign poster for 26th Ward candidate Luis Gutiérrez to a tree, then Washington and Gutiérrez talk to a Channel 26 reporter.
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Washington, Harold (is participant)
Tillman, Dorothy (is participant)
Byrne, Jane (is participant)
García, Jesús (is participant)
Oberman, Marty (is participant)
Gutiérrez, Luis (is participant)
Shaw, Andy (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (depicts)