About this film

“Gradually, Then Suddenly” tells the dramatic story of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy, framing the city’s dire financial situation as a canary in the coal mine for municipalities nationwide. From the controversial appointing of an emergency manager to the enactment of the so-called Grand Bargain — which helped protect the imperiled collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts and preserve city pensions — the film offers new insights and behind-the-scenes details of the critical juncture in the city’s history.  

The documentary uses contemporary interviews, reenactments and archival footage to unspool its story. As the world watches, Detroit becomes the epicenter of courtroom dramas and backroom deals with life-altering consequences for residents, retirees, bankers and politicians.

FREE AT-HOME STREAMING:Thanks to the generous support of The Kresge Foundation, there is new  FREE availability of “Gradually, Then Suddenly” for at-home streaming.  The festival’s initial agreement with the “Gradually, Then Suddenly” filmmaking team allowed for a specific amount of virtual views — a number that was reached on the festival’s opening night.

As of Saturday, April 30, the film is now again available for streaming. The availability lasts through May 15. Views are once again capped, so secure your ticket now. Just click-through the ticketing button at the right of this page to gain access.

FREE TICKETS SOLD OUT

WHEN + WHERE

RUSH LINE ONLY
7 p.m. Wed., April 27, Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA

RUSH LINE ONLY
7 p.m. Wed., April 27,  Michigan Science Center (Toyota Engineering)

Currently, all tickets to the DIA have been reserved, though a limited number may be available the night of the show. Tickets to the showing at the Michigan Science Center are available.
SOLD OUT-Free at-home streaming tickets are still available.

FILM CREDITS

Directors:
Sam Katz and James McGovern

Principal scriptwriter:
Nathan Bomey

Director of photography:
Jeff Sukes

Editors:
James McGovern and Jon Kohl

Composer:
Daniel Slatkin

Producers:
Sam Katz, James McGovern, Chastity Pratt-Dawsey

Year:
2022
 

Running time:
1 hour, 33 minutes
 

Film website

Awards:
Winner, 2021 Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film