Kartemquin and Music Box Theatre honor life of Bill Siegel on June 5

Kartemquin Films and the Music Box Theatre will honor the life of Chicago filmmaker Bill Siegel on June 5, 2019 with a double feature of the director’s award-winning films, The Weather Underground (nominated for a 2003 Academy Award®) and The Trials of Muhammad Ali (winner of a 2015 Emmy® Award).

Join the family, friends, and key collaborators of director Bill Siegel, who passed away in December 2018 at the age of 55.

Single and double feature tickets are available now here. All profits will go to an educational fund for Siegel’s children.

The Weather Underground panelists include: Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, former leaders of The Weather Underground who spent the 1970s living underground and on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list; Lois Vossen, who mentored Siegel throughout his career and executive produced all of Siegel’s films in her role at the prestigious PBS documentary strand Independent Lens; moderated by Newcity film critic and close friend of Siegel, Ray Pride.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali panelists include Siegel’s collaborators on the film: editor Aaron Wickenden (Finding Vivian Maier, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), producer Rachel Pikelny (Grace, No Small Matter), composer Joshua Abrams (Life Itself, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail) and Kartemquin co-founder and executive producer Gordon Quinn (‘63 Boycott, A Good Man), moderated by Muhammad Ali contemporary, Nation of Islam member and journalist Salim Muwakkil, who is also interviewed in the film.

Bill Siegel brought his deep, strong heart to everything that interested him, and widely shared his wisdom, whip-smart humor, and keen insights. A father who was thrilled by and committed to his two kids, Bill was also a brilliant filmmaker, educator, storyteller, interlocutor, teacher, mentor, activist and life-long friend to an impossibly large number of people. An erudite, passionate and intelligent activist and independent thinker as well as a gifted filmmaker and cherished friend, Bill began his career as a researcher on Hoop Dreams (1994) before directing the two masterpiece documentaries being presented on June 5th: The Weather Underground and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. Bill earned a B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an M.S. degree at the Columbia University School of Journalism, and worked for over 20 years at the Great Books Foundation, where he trained over 10,000 teachers in inquiry-based learning and offered consulting, video production and training services to schools, corporations, non-profits and community organizations across the country.

Family obituary.
Kartemquin remembrance.
Dave Zirin remembrance.
Ray Pride remembrance.

Starring: Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, David Gilbert, Brian Flanagan, Laura Whitehorn, Naomi Jaffe Kathleen Cleaver, and Todd Gitlin.

Fueled by outrage over racism and the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the government throughout much of the 1970s—bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history. Academy Award-nominated The Weather Underground is a feature-length documentary that explores the rise and fall of this radical movement, as former members speak candidly about the idealistic passion that drove them to “bring the war home.”
The film premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, won the audience choice award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and was nominated for a 2003 Academy® Award.

"A great story! The young, violent, and glamorous anti-establishment militants of the 1960s. Terrifically smart!”— Elvis Mitchell, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A powerful and searching documentary… enmeshes us in the madness, the devotion, the myopic absolutism, and — yes — the fearlessness of the Vietnam era’s most righteous anarchists.” — Owen Gleiberman, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Starring: Muhammad Ali, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, Rahman Ali, Louis Farrakhan, Salim Muwakkil, Robert Lipsyte, John Carlos.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.
The film premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and won awards from the International Documentary Association and FOCAL for its use of archival footage, as well as winning the 2015 News and Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Historical Documentary – Long Form.

"The best Muhammad Ali doc I've ever seen and–dare I say–I've seen 'em all." – Dave Zirin, THE NATION

"Richly textured and exhaustively researched... fresh clips and new voices that make Ali come alive again... a gift." – Richard O’Brien, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Purchase tickets to the tribute here.