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In 1861, Brooklyn was a cultural backwater, dwarfed by the artistic achievements of its wealthy neighbor across the East River. The establishment of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, however, began to put the borough on the map. TFF alum Michael Sládek’s (Con Artist) lovingly crafted documentary takes us through BAM’s history and behind the scenes at the nation’s oldest performing arts center. At the center of that history is BAM’s former executive director, Harvey Lichtenstein, a man whose relentless determination and sharp vision established the institution as a creative home for such greats as Pina Bausch, Peter Brook, Merce Cunningham, and Mark Morris. Weaving sharply rendered footage of recent BAM performances with 150 years’ of stunning archival material and interviews with groundbreaking artists such as Laurie Anderson and Peter Brook, the film shows that BAM’s years were not always easy, but are a testament to the power and stamina of the institution that launched Brooklyn as a cultural mecca. [Synopsis Courtesy of]