Published On: Tue, Jan 21st, 2014

Mayor Of Chicago Rahm Emanuel Stars In TV Mini Series About His City

 

Bill Clinton Hosts Clinton Global Initiative Conference Meeting In Chicago

Rahm Emanuel / Getty

It has been said that the exercise of Politics is an art, rather than a science, but never before has it been thought to be an art-form.

Yet now we have a new television series produced by Robert Redford for CNN, called ChicagoLand. This is not a fictional drama about politics, like the West Wing. Nor is it a documentary about, say, a political campaign but is more a docudrama about Mayor Rahm Emanuel the current Mayor of Chicago, one that is supposed to qualify as both entertainment and I suppose news too.

Directors Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin have made an eight-part series that chronicles the politics and policy of the city of Chicago. The Executive Producer of the series for CNN is Robert Redford. So we have some pretty heavy hitters in action here making the film.

The series launches on television only in March, on CNN, but the first episode will be premiered at the Sundance Festival this weekend. The film’s Directors and Redford, plus the Worldwide President of CNN Jeff Zucker will be on hand for the screening.

According to the Hollywood Reporter the film takes a close, unscripted, day by day look, at Mayor Emanuel and his city, which endured a bitter teacher’s strike last year and has also been struggling with a high murder rate. As to whose side they were on Director Benjamin said, “The teacher’s union thought we were with Rahm, and Rahm thought we were the teacher’s union.”

The pair gained extraordinary access to Rahm Emanuel over an eight month period during 2013. Their path was apparently smoothed in advance by David Axelrod, the Chicago-based former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama. Rahm was also Obama’s first Chief of Staff and helped him get elected in 2008.

It so happens Rahm’s brother Ari Emanuel is also a big mover and shaker in Hollywood, and is co-CEO of the major Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor. Ari Emanuel was instrumental in mobilizing the Hollywood donor community to back Obama when he first became a presidential candidate.

It remains to be seen whether the film series just turns out to be a propaganda effort, or a serious piece of infotainment that also sheds some light on the difficulties of running a big city such as Chicago.

 

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