Director Julia Reichert’s retrospective begins at Neon

‘We want to celebrate her lifetime achievement of being a woman in the film industry for 50 years,” Neon manager Jonathan McNeal said.



A retrospective of acclaimed Academy and Emmy Award-winning documentarian Julia Reichert titled “Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film” begins its local premiere today, Nov. 21, at the Neon.



Curated and organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, the retrospective, which premiered in May 2019 at the Museum of Modern Art, is a celebration of the Yellow Springs filmmaker’s decades of work. The film series also traveled to Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Cleveland and Louisville among other cities before the coronavirus shutdowns.

“I’m deeply grateful to the Neon’s manager, Jonathan McNeal, for bringing this retrospective home,” said Reichert in a release. “It means so much to me to share these films again with Dayton audiences, many who weren’t even born yet when these films came out. New and beautiful 4K restorations of the four films I made with Jim Klein will play on the Neon’s screens, and they look amazing.”

“She has been a pioneer in filmmaking for 50 years,” McNeal said. “She is my professor, mentor and dear friend. Even though she’s such a good friend of mine, there is some work I have not seen and I’m anxious to see it on the big screen the way it was meant to be seen. We want to celebrate her lifetime achievement of being a woman in the film industry for 50 years. From the beginning of film, there have been women often unheralded but not many. For Julia to have made groundbreaking work for 50 years is pretty exceptional.”

On Nov. 21, Reichert, who taught film at Wright State University for 28 years, will discuss her career and origins. The event will also include a screening of “Growing Up Female,” Reichert and Klein’s groundbreaking 1971 documentary showcasing how girls and women are socialized. This film, Reichert’s senior project at Antioch College, was selected in 2011 by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry of historically significant films.

“What makes Julia Reichert such an impactful educator and mentor is that she’s spent her life telling stories of everyday, overlooked people with compassion and real appreciation for their dreams and struggles,” said Joe Deer, artistic director of Wright State’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. “She is local and international. I’m personally so grateful for my years watching her work, talking about teaching and just being inspired by her energy and vision.”

The 2021 events in the retrospective are

Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m.: Julia Reichert Artist Talk and “Growing Up Female” (1971) SOLD OUT

Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.: “Union Maids” (1976) and “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” (2009)

Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.: “Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists” (1984)

Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.: Julia’s Hidden Gems and Deep Cuts: Four shorter documentaries from Reichert’s body of work: “Methadone – An American Way of Dealing” (1974), “Sparkle” (2012), “Making Morning Star” (2014) and “No Guns for Christmas” (2014)

Reichert’s retrospective will continue in 2022 with films and dates to be announced.

Tickets are $10 for each screening and available on the Neon’s website at or at the Neon box office.

The Neon is located at 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton.

Credit: Kevin Winter

Credit: Kevin Winter

About the Author