National Geographic to Air Five-Part Series City So Real On Issues of Chicago

City So RealChicago is known as the Windy City. It’s also famously known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, Polish hot dogs, one-time tallest building Sears Tower, and the Chicago sports teams of Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, and White Sox.

In recent years, Chicago’s reputation was known for its political corruption, racism, and violence. From a study by the Department of Justice since 1976, they concluded the city had the most amount of corruption conventions in the United States—surpassing Los Angeles and New York City. Although the city is not the murder capital of the United States, it struggles with its image as a high crime rate city by reporting daily murders and shootings nearly every day of the calendar. And, now with Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, the city is at the forefront of racial sensitivities and systemic racism.

From two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (America to Me, Hoop Dreams), City So Real is a five-part documentary series to broadcast in an unprecedented one-night, commercial-free event on National Geographic Channel, on Thursday, October 29, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

The series will then be available on Hulu the following day on Friday, October 30.

City So Real looks at the complexities of contemporary Chicago with the backdrop of the 2019 mayoral election.

The series starts off as former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s involvement in the accusations of a cover-up related to the police shooting of an African-American teenager Laquan McDonald. After announcing he won’t seek election, the floodgates opened with 21 different candidates to vie to be the top politician for the third-largest metropolitan city.

The documentary premiered earlier this year in the Indie Episodic selection at the Sundance Film Festival. National Geographic set to premiere a never-seen-before fifth episode that follows the Covid-19 pandemic and social uprising following George Floyd’s death.

As part of Walt Disney’s Television’s civic engagement campaign, National Geographic partners with “I am a voter” campaign to encourage views to vote in the upcoming election.

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Here are the official episode descriptions:

Episode 1 – Welcome to Chicago

Facing a growing chorus of activists, incumbent Rahm Emanuel must choose whether to run for reelection against a large and diverse field of candidates in the most contested mayor’s race in Chicago history. Influencing his decision is the beginning of the high-profile trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer.

Episode 2 – Blood Sport

The Laquan McDonald trial unfolds and dominates media attention. With Rahm Emanuel now out of the race, a record 21 mayoral candidates submit their petitions to replace him. They must navigate the highly politicized and contentious petition challenge process to make the ballot. Chicago is famous for its rough-and-tumble politics that is considered a “blood sport.”

Episode 3 – With All Due Respect to the Candidate

During a bitterly cold Chicago winter, the petition process results in a mayoral ballot with a record 14 candidates. A historic verdict is reached in the Laquan McDonald murder trial, and the longest-tenured city alderman in Chicago history is federally indicted on corruption charges.

Episode 4 – If You Want to Break the Machine

No clear front-runner emerges in the historical mayoral race. Over a dozen candidates intensify attacks on each other and jockey for votes, culminating in a surprising and historic outcome that promises to profoundly shape the city’s uncertain future.

Episode 5 – You Gotta Make It or You Gotta Take It

One year after the mayoral election, the mayor and city residents must grapple with both the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread social upheaval following the police killing of George Floyd. An already fractured city is further divided as police clash with protestors, giving rise to a generational moment that promises to change the city forever.

Watch City So Real on the National Geographic channel on Thursday, October 9, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Check out the trailer below.

Source: National Geographic

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