‘Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration’

‘Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration’

Screens at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at Cinema Detroit. Tickets are $10.

In 1996, Lansing mayor David Hollister was given some good news and some very bad news by a vice president at General Motors. While GM was going to start producing the new Alero automobile in Michigan’s capital, the company was then going to pull up stakes and completely leave the city after production of the car ended in 2004.

Faced with the impending loss of thousands of high-paying jobs and tax revenue, Hollister decided to fight the decision, crossing numerous political divides to convince GM to stay in the city. Veteran Lansing-based director Tom Lietz skillfully assembles archival footage and fresh interviews with key politicians, GM staff and union officials to tell the story of how Hollister bucked the odds and kept GM in Lansing.

With obvious appeal to automotive history buffs, “Second Shift” shows how collaboration and communication are necessities when a city faces a crisis. In an era where government is too often gridlocked, Lietz’s inspiring documentary has loads of teaching points.

AFTER THE FILM: Detroit Free Press Auto Team Leader Alisa Priddle will lead a Q&A panel that includes director Tom Lietz.

Year: 2014
Running time: 1 hour, 7 minutes
Rating: Not rated; nothing objectionable
Director: Tom Lietz
Primary cinematographer: Rob Sumbler
Editor: Tom Lietz
Producers: David Hollister, Christine Hollister, Ray Tadgerson, Terry Terry
Production company: Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art
Film festival screenings: Lansing Film Festival (2014)