Directors Ben Kolak, Brian Ashby, and Courtney Prokopas’s documentary film Scrappers has received rave reviews across Chicago, including “two thumbs up” from film critic Roger Ebert as well as awards for “Best Documentary Feature” and the “Audience Award” at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival. Kolak, Ashby, and Prokopas are graduates of the College, and Ashby currently works as a Program Assistant with the South Asia Language and Area Center (SALAC) and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) within the Division of the Humanities.
From the Chicago Underground Film Festival:
Set in Chicago’s labyrinth of alleys Scrappers is a revealing portrait of Oscar and Otis, two metal scavengers searching for a living with brains, brawn, and battered pickup trucks. Shot in vérité style, the film focuses on work: finding metals, raising children, understanding the city. A close examination of the men’s daily lives raises questions about popular notions of poverty, race-relations, personal self-sufficiency, and urban sustainability. Scrappers tackles the geography of a still-segregated city, the hidden lives of undocumented people, and the far-reaching effects of the 2008 financial collapse.