Jerry Blumenthal 1936-2014

Jerry Blumenthal, a great filmmaker, colleague, and friend, passed away on November 13, 2014.

At the core of Kartemquin since our earliest days in the 1960s, Jerry has a credit on our very first film, Home for Life, and was working with us this year to finish projects on the artist Gerda Bernstein, and Murder the Prepositions, about the poet Les Bridges.

His most recent work was as editor on Prisoner Of Her Past. Blumenthal's previous film, Golub: Late Works are the Catastrophes, co-produced with Gordon Quinn, revisits the great American artist thirteen years after the award-winning Golub. Vietnam, Long Time Coming (which he made with Quinn, Peter Gilbert and Adam Singer) aired on NBC and earned a national Emmy and the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Documentary of 1999. Among his many other films, Blumenthal lists The Last Pullman Car, the two Taylor Chain films, Now We Live on Clifton, The Chicago Maternity Center Story, and the Palestinian story in Kartemquin's seven-hour IDA award-winning series, The New Americans.

Tributes to Jerry Blumenthal:
Rick Kogan's Chicago Tribune tribute: Jerry Blumenthal left lasting memories on screen and in person.

"He was so, so Chicago. He was street-smart, of working-class roots, but also so worldly. You could talk to him about anything. Just a couple of days before he died we had a long talk about the Bears … and about Baudelaire."- Judy Hoffman.

"Jerry was my filmmaking partner for over four decades. His sense of story, people, politics, and art and artists, will be missed. With Kartemquin we went through good times and bad, but with Jerry we always found time to laugh." - Gordon Quinn.

Audio recording of a workshop Jerry Blumenthal gave to Kartemquin interns in 2008.

"He was the spirit of Kartemquin Films, and one of the most decent people I've ever met." - Tom Weinberg.

Media Burn video tribute to Jerry Blumenthal.

"He was always great to joke around with and to get into these intense conversations about film, whether it was on style or ethics." - Justine Nagan.

Ben Sachs' Chicago Reader tribute: RIP Jerry Blumenthal, founding partner of Kartemquin Films.

Video excerpt from the movie Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River featuring Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal.

"Always to be remembered as the life of the party, Jerry was first to toast his glass, and to entertain with unmatched witty humor. His enthusiasm for hearty laughter, his brilliant eloquence, and his strong passion for storytelling will never be forgotten." - Chicago Sun-Times obituary.

We will miss you, Jerry.

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