Developed with the support of a 2013 Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellowship, The Manhattan Front is experimental filmmaker Cathy Lee Crane’s first feature-length narrative film in a career spanning over two decades. True to Crane’s hybrid art film roots, though, The Manhattan Front melds melodramatic acting on silent-film-styled sets with newly digitized archival footage of daily life in New York City and on the front lines during World War 1. Via this unconventional approach Crane presents the true story of how a German saboteur’s plans to prevent American munitions from reaching Britain during a period of official U.S. neutrality became entangled with the progressive labor movement of legendary activist Elisabeth Gurley Flynn, resulting in consequences that arguably reverberate to this very day.
The Manhattan Front had its U.S. premiere yesterday at SF Indiefest, and it will screen a second time, with a live score by local musicians, on February 14 at 7:00 PM.
Filmmaker recently caught up with Crane to discuss The Manhattan Front and what she calls her “poetic speculation” of history prior to the film’s SF IndieFest premiere.
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.