CVC/UW Cinematheque | Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (1988)

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Vilas Hall, Rm. 4070
@ 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm

Friday, September 22, 7 p.m. 


USA | 1988 | DCP | 80 min. 

Director: Tony Buba

A once thriving community, Braddock, PA was one of the country’s largest producers of steel. After the first steel mill closings in the 1970s, filmmaker and Braddock resident Tony Buba began chronicling the decline of his hometown with a series of short documentaries, culminating with this wildly creative feature-length movie. Against a backdrop of shuttered businesses and crumbling homes, Buba attempts to complete a film project centered around the eccentric, combative, tough-talking, and frequently delusional Braddock denizen, Salvatore “Sweet Sal” Caru, who credits himself for Buba’s success. Mixing humor, music, and a great deal of heart, Buba’s magnum opus has been compared to the work of Errol Morris and Michael Moore, and has earned the praise of Werner Herzog. This screening will be preceded by Buba’s latest addition to his Braddock Chronicles, Mon Valley Trilogy (2023, 5 min.). After the program, Tony Buba will discuss his work and answer questions.