And This is Free
And This is Free
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Synopsis

Chicago's Maxwell Street Market is captured in its entirety through cinema verite techniques in this unique film. The filmmaker originally set out to capture blues singers, but he realized that the whole area contained a much fuller picture that could explain the blues. Since Maxwell Street has been transformed by urban renewal, this may be the only way to see the singular mix of people and music that this area once offered. Mike Shea---USA---1964---50 mins.

Reviews of 'And This is Free'

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Most Recent Reviews
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  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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  | MrTransfer#1

I was 11 years old when this doc was made, around the time my dad had taken us down there to browse and get hot dogs. I remember the noise and the smells. This documentary really captures a lost era in Chicago history. It also shows that poverty is an equal opportunity un-employer. You should see this film. Rv

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  | HomerSexual#1

The opening segment, the non-narrative voyeur's view of Maxwell Street was very addicting. Luckily the disc also includes an WTTW interview with the cameraman that gives a bit more background info. The remaining parts were informative but much more dry than the opening film.

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  | Hedges#1

This documentary, made 3 decades before the Maxwell Street Market was relocated off Maxwell, is a fascinating look at a certain slice of Chicago's life and past. As an historical document it is worth preserving. Its many black street entertainers are fun to listen to. and the world's smallest saxophones are one of a kind. The added features include interviews with Morrie Mages and the late Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz.

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Most Helpful Reviews
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  | jrderr#1

"And This is Free", the first film on the DVD, is a great no narrator documentary which provides a portrait of Chicago's Maxwell Street Market circa 1964 when the market was beginning to decline. It features some great musical performances and a lot of local characters like Casey Jones the Chicken Man who used to play the accordian with a chicken on his head. The other documentaries are WTTW produced historical features and some archival footage that provide some historical context.

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