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'City So Real' Trailer: A National Geography Documentary About Chicago

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The city of Chicago is the subject of a National Geography docuseries, CITY SO REAL from Oscar®-nominated documentarian Steve James. The five-part documentary covers the positive and negative aspect of the city including the gun violence and spirit of the city. Watch the trailer.

CITY SO REAL starts in 2018 up until most recent with the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd killing. The series will premiere on October 29 on the network as a five-hour commercial-free event and all five episodes will be available the following day on Hulu.

In the five-part documentary series CITY SO REAL, Oscar®-nominated documentarian Steve James (“America to Me,” “Hoop Dreams”) delivers a fascinating and complex portrait of Chicago, America’s third-largest metropolis and his longtime hometown. The series begins in the haze of mid-summer 2018, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, embroiled in accusations of a cover-up related to the police shooting of an African American teenager, Laquan McDonald, shocks the city by announcing he won’t seek reelection.

An unprecedented 21 candidates emerge in a diverse and crowded field as they engage in a no-holds-barred battle for a chance to shape Chicago’s uncertain future. The series’ final episode picks up a year after the mayoral election in 2020, as the city simultaneously grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread social upheaval following the police killing of George Floyd. An already fractured city is further divided by the economic, political and social fallout, which plays out on the streets as police clash with protesters, bringing rise to a generational moment that promises to change the city forever.

In candid interviews with residents throughout the city, the series captures Chicago’s indomitable spirit as well as its seemingly insurmountable challenges. CITY SO REAL is a gritty and loving depiction of a quintessentially American city that is at once fiercely unique and a microcosm of the nation—and our world—as a whole.

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