Medium Cool – Marissa Pearlstein

Medium Cool is a film from 1969 and takes place in Chicago. It gives the vibe of a fiction film but also a documentary. It was filmed during the real riots so although the actors are portraying certain characters their reactions and things they experience are also real and authentic. The film shows emotions such as fear, anger, violence, etc. and it shows how reporters go into situations as bystanders but eventually feel the impact of these key events as more then just a bystander, they become involved. They become a part of history rather than just a witness to it. For example, one of the rioters screamed to fellow rioters “get the camera men” and went after them. The main character John is a news reporter who tries to shoot the news in rarest form but his boss only allows certain stories to make it to air. He tells John to refrain from making programs about black politicians. He then later finds out the news station has been using his stories to hand off to the FBI and the Chicago police department. Medium Cool also showcases the constant recurring issues of race and poverty. The film express the want and need to make a change.

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