If you have any interest in Philadelphia and it’s lore, you’ll be pleased to know that another episode in the 12-part video history of the city being co-produced by Sam Katz ready for viewing.
This one, called “Breakthrough” covers very recent material, historically-speaking – from 1978 to 1994..
Because this is a period I lived through and covered much of, I can’t help but quibble with aspects of it: too much time spent on the city’s anti-graffitt effort, too little on the city’s revival in the early 90’s.
But as with all the episodes so far, this one boasts high production values, insightful commentary from key players, and great archival footage. It covers the landmark election of the city’s first African-American mayor, Wilson Goode, the disastrous MOVE confrontation, the completion of the center city commuter tunnel (an under-valued achievement, the episode notes), and plenty more.
It’s also intersting that Goode granted Katz an interview. Go back 25 years when the city’s finances were crumblilng and Kaz was planning his first mayoral run, and they were anything but pals.
In fact, it’s interesting that the documentary takes almost no notice of the 1991 mayor’s race, a multi-candidate brawl that Katz himself was an interesting part of. I suppose it’s hard to cram 16 eventful years into a half hour.
But it’s worth watching. It will be broadcast tonight at 7:30 on Channel 6, and afterward at www.historymakingproductions.com.