Anthony Bourdain's Detroit Documentary Will Focus on the City's Past
Tentatively titled "Detroit 1963: Once a Great City," the film will feature crowd-sourced footage.
Anthony Bourdain is working on yet another new project: A four-part documentary for CNN with his production company Zero Point Zero, about Detroit in the early sixties. But he needs your help to do it.
Back in May, the Parts Unknown host confirmed that he would be producing the documentary, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss’ book Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story. The series is tentatively titled after the book as Detroit 1963: Once a Great City, and is slated to premiere sometime in 2018.
Zero Point Zero is now requesting home video and images of Detroit from 1955 to 1965. They’ve put together a Google doc, where anyone with relevant footage can submit their materials, as well as a list of the people, places, and events they’re especially hoping the find. In particular, the production company is looking for footage and images of Motown performances, NAACP demonstrations, Detroit schools, and home movies that depict daily life in the city.
Much of the footage the production company is looking for involves politicians and activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, and the 1963 Walk To Freedom, giving the series an apparent focus on the Civil Rights Movement, and the complicated political dynamics at work in the city, especially as they related to race. For any fans of Bourdain who have seen his previous shows on Detroit, that angle shouldn’t come as a surprise. The chef is well known for his strong political opinions, which he often channels through his obsession with food.
Bourdain has a lot on his plate these days: He recently came out with a new ghost story-themed comic book, while hosting his show and managing to put together his Chelsea Piers food hall. In March, the project lost its CEO, but Bourdain bounced back, promising in June that there wouldn’t be any “bullshit,” at the Bourdain Market, which will hopefully open in 2019.
Given Bourdain's ever-expanding fan base, his production company is sure to recieve some incredible footage. We'll just have to wait until 2018 to see how Bourdain integrates the political climate in one America's greatest cities with the food-centric television he's known for.