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New Film by Andy Kirshner Debunks the Legend of Henry Ford

A man presumed to be Henry Ford stands at a city intersection with his back to the camera.

A new film by Stamps Associate Professor Andy Kirshner takes a brutally honest look at the complex legacy of an American icon, Henry Ford. 

Premiering Nov. 6 at the Ojai Film Festival in California, 10 Questions for Henry Ford is a feature-length experimental documentary based on archival documents, oral histories, Ford’s personal notebooks, and the automaker’s tragic relationship with his historically under-appreciated son, Edsel. 

While acknowledging Henry Ford’s remarkable accomplishments, the film does not shy from plainly presenting the industrialist’s violent efforts to suppress labor organizing in his plants, or the influence of his virulent antisemitism on fascist movements around the world. 

Linking past to present, 10 Questions” makes implicit connections between the nativist, antisemitic conspiracy theories popularized by Henry Ford in the 1920’s, and the right wing extremism and white nationalism of today. 

A carefully researched combination of historical fact and poetic imagining, the film is a musical-visual-choreographic rumination on the ways in which the literal and figurative ghosts of the past still haunt us. 

Following its live première in Ojai on Nov. 6, the film, which stars John Lepard as Henry Ford, will be available on demand nationally between Nov. 9 – 14, through the Ojai Film Festival website.