Every year, the Librarian of Congress names 25 motion pictures that are at least 10 years old and register as “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant.
For a filmmaker to get one of their films in the registry is an honor. “Growing Up Female” (1971), which Yellow Springs filmmaker Julia Reichert made with her future husband, James Klein, a classmate at Antioch College in Ohio, was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry in 2011.
Julia, who won an Academy Award for “American Factory,” a documentary feature about the Chinese takeover of a shuttered automobile plant in Dayton, Ohio, died December 1st after a 4 and 1/2 year fight with cancer.
According to her partner Steven Bogner, “Julia was told, shortly before her death that UNION MAIDS would be added to the National Film Registry, joining Julia and Jim’s debut film GROWING UP FEMALE on this prestigious list of historically significant works of American cinema. She was grateful and proud.”
The Oscar-nominated “Union Maids,” one of nine documentaries were chosen this year, told the story of three female union workers in the 1930s.
“For the longest time, women’s voices, especially working-class women’s voices, were not respected let alone heard,” co-director Julia Reichert, who died earlier in December from cancer, wrote in a statement. “Documentaries presented men as the experts, the historians, the authorities. We hoped this film would just show you how vital, wise, funny and essential these women’s voices were and are, to the struggles of working people to get a better deal.”