Private Project

Punch 9 for Harold Washington

Harold Washington - race, politics and the roots of the Obama Presidency. Before President Obama faced the Tea Party rebellion, Mayor Harold Washington fought the Council Wars in Chicago. Before Trump vowed to make America great again, Washington’s opponents promised to keep a Black man out of City Hall “before it’s too late.” An international hero in his day, lure for a young community organizer to come to Chicago, Mayor Washington died suddenly in office just as his dreams were finally being realized. Punch 9 for Harold Washington tells the story of Chicago’s first African-American mayor—his victories, his defeats, and what we can learn from his struggle today.

  • Joe Winston
    What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Joe Winston
    What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Raymond Lambert
    Maya Angelou: and Still I Rise
  • Bob Hercules
    Senator Obama Goes to Africa
  • Sonya Jackson
  • Craig Robinson
    The Office (TV Series)
  • Robert Teitel
    The Hate U Give
  • Judy Wise
  • Joe Winston
    Citizen Koch
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    African-American, U.S. politics
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 43 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    750,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Chicago International Film Festival
    Chicago, Illinois
    United States
    October 14, 2021
    World Premiere
    Audience Award, Best Documentary
    New York, New York
    United States
    November 13, 2021
    New York Premiere
  • Martha's Vinyard African-American Film Festival
    Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
    United States
    September 8, 2022
    Best Documentary
  • Santa Barbara International Film Fesrtival
    Santa Barbara, CA
    United States
    March 9, 2022
Distribution Information
  • Steven Bullcok
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Joe Winston

Joe has been an award-winning filmmaker for over twenty-five years. His specialty is crafting documentaries and docu-style films in an engaging, cinematic style.

He produced and directed “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” which Roger Ebert named as one of the Best Documentaries of 2009. More recently, he edited "Flannery," winner of the 2019 Ken Burns Prize, and produced “Citizen Koch,” which was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Joe has also made films for clients such as DRTV, The U.S. Department of Education, and Al Jazeera America.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

While he was mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington lived just down the street from me. He was a neighborhood hero, and the racially charged election of 1983 was, at the age of 16, my crash course in the intersection of race, power and politics. Years later, the Obama presidency and the backlash to a Black president brought into sharp focus for me the lasting importance of Harold Washington's political career. As I see it, America is re-fighting the very same battles we waged in Chicago more than 30 years ago.

I'm thrilled to be working with the talented and diverse team that has brought this story to life, including Craig Robinson ("The Office"), Deon Cole ("Black-ish"), Bob Hercules and Raymond Lambert ("Maya Angelou: and Still I Rise"), and Sonya Jackson.