Chronicler of the Western World Frederick Wiseman named the 2008 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at UH Manoa

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cynthia Quinn, (808) 956-6545
School of Law-UH Manoa
Tracy Orillo-Donovan, (808) 956-7520
UH Manoa Office of the Chancellor
Posted: Feb 25, 2008

HONOLULU — Frederick Wiseman, often described as one of the world‘s greatest documentary filmmakers, will be a holder of the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals. Wiseman will participate in a number of film screenings and lectures at the Law School and throughout the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. A retrospective of some of his films also will be shown by the Honolulu Academy of Arts, from Friday, February 29 until Friday, March 7, 2008.

"Wiseman has created an exceptional body of work consisting of 34 full-length films devoted primarily to exploring American institutions," said Law School Dean Avi Soifer. "Over time, these films have come to be celebrated as a remarkably clear-eyed record of our institutions and our lives. We are thrilled to have Fred Wiseman here in the Inouye Chair. His films are riveting slices of reality, and his insightful thoughts about the institutions his films explore are consistently challenging in the very best sense."

The subjects Wiseman began to examine early in his career — a hospital, a high school, army basic training, a welfare center, a police precinct — have "problems" that the filmmaker uncovers and clearly conveys. His approach reveals some of the profound conformity and inequality of American society. Wiseman‘s films are also a profound reflection on democracy. Over the years, his films have become a remarkable mix of observation, testimony, reflection, courage, and humor.

"Frederick Wiseman is a genuinely legendary figure in the history of documentary film" said American Studies Department Chair David Stannard. "Each of his many productions has revealed unique and stunning insights into American culture and society."

Wiseman received his BA in 1951 from Williams College, an LL.B. in 1954 from Yale Law School, and he has been awarded six honorary doctorates in fine arts and humane letters. Among his most recent additional awards are the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Chicago International Documentary Festival, 2007; the George Polk Career Award, 2006 and the American Society of Cinematographers Distinguished Achievement Award, 2006.

Wiseman succeeds Dr. John Hope Franklin, celebrated historian of American history and the African American experience, who last year was the first Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at UH Mānoa.

Established in 2005, the Inouye Chair already represents an unprecedented investment in the university of nearly $3 million by more than 1,000 donors. It is shared by the Department of American Studies and the William S. Richardson School of Law and honors Senator Inouye‘s service to Hawaiʻi and the nation, and Maggie Inouye‘s devoted work in education. Maggie Inouye passed away on March 13, 2006.

The Inouye Chair regularly supports visits to the University of Hawai‘i by distinguished public figures. Chairholders offer lectures and seminars for the campus and the larger community that emphasize democratic processes and the importance of public life.

The following screenings are scheduled at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Doris Duke Theatre (private showings are noted). For information, call 532-3033 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

"Titicut Follies" Friday, February 29, 7:30 p.m.; Private screening. Walk-in tickets are available for $15 (non-members) and $14 (members). Seating for walk-in tickets is on a first come, first served basis.

The following screenings are open to the public. Cost is $7 for non-members; $6 for seniors, students and military; and $5 for members.

"Model" Saturday, March 1, 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

"Basic Training" Sunday, March 2, 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

"High School" Monday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 4, 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

The following screenings are scheduled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and are open to the public:

"Titicut Follies" Monday, March 3, 3:45pm - 5:15; Law School Classroom 2

Welfare, Part I" Tuesday, March 4, 4:30pm. - 6 p.m.; Law School Moot Courtroom

"Welfare, Part II" Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., Law School Classroom 2

"High School" Thursday, March 6, 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.; School of Architecture Auditorium

"State Legislature" Friday, March 7, 1:15p.m. - 5:15 p.m., Law School Classroom 1

The following public lectures are open to the public:

Monday, March 3, 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., reception to follow; Law School

Wednesday, March 5, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., reception to follow; Law School

Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., School of Architecture

Friday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., reception to follow; Law School