‘Last Man Fishing’ to launch Chi Film’s ‘Justice January’

This January, Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to present the Chicago premieres of three documentaries that explore current social and political issues around environmental justice, immigration justice, and reproductive justice in a program called Justice January.

The films selected for the series — Last Man Fishing, Undeterred, and Our Bodies Our Doctors — reveal personal stories behind the political debate.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020
Last Man Fishing Chicago Premiere
Directed by JD Schuyler, 64 min., USA, 2019


Last Man Fishing is a cinematic look at the vastly changing seafood system through the lens of small-scale fishermen across the United States. Narrated by best-selling author Mark Bittman, the film explores the dichotomy between the industrial model and sustainable fishing methods that focus on conservation and quality.

Among the fishermen profiled is renegade New Englander Tim Rider, whose dream of supporting his family as a fisherman is met with numerous challenges. His story parallels that of Darius Kasperzak, a jig boat fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska, who seeks to build infrastructure for a struggling small boat fleet.

Filmmaker JD Schuyler weaves a collection of intimate stories from coastal communities with expert interviews to portray the complex struggle between corporate giants and family fishers. Produced in part by veteran filmmaker Matt Wechsler (Sustainable), and featuring conservationist Carl Safina and author Paul Greenberg, Last Man Fishing calls to question the ethics of the seafood industry and its impact on small-scale fishing across the United States.

Director JD Schuyler is scheduled to attend the screening for a post-film Q&A.

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Undeterred Chicago Premiere
Directed by Eva Lewis, 77 min., USA, 2018


Undeterred is a documentary about community resistance in the rural border town of Arivaca, AZ. Since NAFTA, 9/11 and the Obama and Trump administrations, border residents have been on the front lines of the humanitarian crisis caused by increased border enforcement. Undeterred explores how residents in a small rural community, caught in the crosshairs of global geo-political forces, have mobilized to demand their rights and to provide aid to those suffering, both physically and mentally, as a result of these policies.

The film was made by Eva Lewis, a resident of Arivaca and long time member of People Helping People in the Border Zone (PHP). Undeterred was created in close collaboration with the Arivaca community and members of PHP.

Saturday, January 25, 2020
Our Bodies Our Doctors Chicago Premiere
Directed by Jan Haaken, 80 mins. USA, 2018


Our Bodies Our Doctors tells the story of a quiet rebellion in the field of medicine as a cohort of physicians faces abortion stigma within their own profession and confronts religious control over healthcare decisions. An intimate portrait of the lives of these providers and their struggles to provide abortion procedures, the film explores the importance of practices founded on feminist principles and their profound impact on models of patient care in mainstream medicine.

“The debate continues to be defined by gruesome images from the anti-abortion movement, but Our Bodies Our Doctors shows truth to power, exposing the daily realities of performing procedures from providers POV and why they fight for reproductive justice.” – Gloria Steinem, author and activist.

Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact. Chicago Filmmakers’ twofold mission is to serve independent film and digital video artists by supporting the creation and dissemination of new media arts works and to serve Chicago audiences by screening artistically innovative, socially relevant, and diverse films and videos.

Send your film updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.