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Film Focus: A Look at “RUST” the Documentary

June 14 @ 7:00 pm

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Rust film poster

The New Jersey Council for the Humanities will kick off a mini film festival this summer with the New Jersey-focused documentary film RUST, available to view for free for the month of June. We will also host a moderated discussion with the filmmakers on June 14 at 7:00 p.m. The event is part of the Council’s ongoing 50th Anniversary event series.

RUST, produced by Emmy-nominated, Newark-based film producers Jerome and Marylou Bongiorno, presents the history of Rust Belt poverty, detailing industrialization and deindustrialization, racism, and mass incarceration, using the city of Newark, New Jersey as a microcosm. The film explores solutions to inner city intergenerational poverty through the voices of scholars, economists, physicians, activists, and the community.

The documentary rounds out the Bongiornos’ “Three Rs Trilogy of Urban America,” which began with 2007’s REVOLUTION ’67 and was followed by THE RULE, released in 2014. In commemoration of Juneteenth, RUST and its prequel THE RULE will be streaming for the entire month of June on PBS:

Bongiorno Productions has received multiple NJCH grants in support of their work, including for RUST, and the Bongiornos have presented several public events on their films with NJCH support.

The post-film discussion will be facilitated by Purcell Carson, a filmmaker and editor who has worked on documentary films featuring New Jersey stories. She also teaches a seminar in urban studies and film at Princeton University, where she is project director of a multi-year community-based documentary project, The Trenton Project. Purcell is a graduate of Brown and Stanford.

To participate in the program, you can watch the film for free on your own time, then join the filmmakers and your neighbors around the Garden State for a discussion on June 14. Register to receive reminders about the film and discussion. The film festival will continue in July and August with two other films made by New Jersey filmmakers and supported by the NJCH grants program.


June 14
7:00 pm
Event Categories:


Watch “RUST” on pbs.org
The film will be available to watch for free online beginning June 1
View Venue Website


New Jersey Council for the Humanities
(609) 695-4838
View Organizer Website