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.