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"How did you go bankrupt?" Bill asked. 

"Two ways," Mike said. "
Gradually and then suddenly." 

​       The Sun Also Rises

       Ernest Hemingway​

The Project

The Project

Detroit - once heralded as the spirit of American manufacturing, music, and democracy - descended into disrepair and insolvency over the course of several decades, culminating in the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history in 2013. With democracy suddenly suspended, the city became an epicenter of courtroom drama and backroom deals with life-altering consequences for residents, retirees, bankers, and politicians. The bankruptcy also exposed the consequences of avoiding tough decisions, and taught the reconciling power of compromise in a politically paralyzed world.


Gradually, Then Suddenly  is the story of Detroit’s climb out of bankruptcy and towards a future of possibility. In this real-life drama, people of all backgrounds and viewpoints found common ground in search of a solution to give Detroit a new lease on life.  A recovery for all Detroiters will determine whether the 'grand bargain' can serve as a model for urban America.



LOC Ken Burns Prize.jpg

Gradually, Then Suddenly is the 2021 winner of The Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.

Read more about the award here.

Media Kit and News Release are available for download below.

For further inquiries, contact us below.




Contact Producer/Director Sam Katz here.

Contact Director James McGovern here.

Contact History Making Productions here.

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