‘City Hall’ Review: America Would Be a Better Place If Everyone Watched Wiseman’s 4.5-Hour Epic

‘City Hall’ Review: America Would Be a Better Place If Everyone Watched Wiseman’s 4.5-Hour Epic
Every Frederick Wiseman movie starts like a dare. Though the 90-year-old documentary legend has been chronicling social institutions ever since 1967’s “Titicut Follies,” many of his projects casually drift through three or four hours of dense, layered portraits following the people behind vast organizational forces. Ironically, this has actually made his work even more valuable with time, and “City Hall,” which clocks in at four hours and 32 minutes, is no exception. As attention spans dwindle and the complex mess of American governance grows murkier than ever, Wiseman’s immersive dive into Boston’s city services ignores the pressure to dumb things down and marvels at the complexity of a system designed to make the world run right.

Subtext: Take that, Trump! Just as Wiseman’s 2018 portrait “Ex Libris — The New York Public Library” served as a de facto repudiation of leaders who reject intellectual discernment, “City Hall” assails the corruption
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