What would Henry Ford do and say if he traveled in time to Detroit in 2021? That’s the question that University of Michigan filmmaker Andy Kirshner explores in his new film “10 Questions for Henry Ford.”
“It’s his ghost so he can be in the present. But it’s also about looking at parallels between past and present.” –Andy Kirshner, director of “10 Questions for Henry Ford”
The film follows the automotive giant’s ghost around Southeast Michigan, visiting his crumbling old factories, Greenfield Village and even the Detroit People Mover. And it delves into some of the most troubling and racist aspects of Ford’s life and beliefs.
Listen: Director Andy Kirshner talks about his new film “10 Questions for Henry Ford.”
Andy Kirshner is an artist, filmmaker, and chair of the department of performing arts technology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. His film “10 Questions for Henry Ford” debuts Tuesday online as part of the Ojai Virtual Film Festival and runs through Sunday November 14th. You can find more information about the film and how to view on the film’s website.
“It’s his ghost so he can be in the present,” says Kirshner. “But it’s also about looking at parallels between past and present, particularly the sort of interwar years between World War I and World War II and where we are now. And I see a lot of themes being sort of parallel.”
One of the themes that Kirshner focuses on in the film is Ford’s xenophobia mixed with his desire to bring immigrants to the United States and turn them into “real Americans.”
“Ford had this kind of idea about Americanization that you would take in this sort of raw material of immigrants from all over the world, and through this process of education, were turning them into real Americans, which for Ford basically meant kind of Anglo Saxon Americans,” says Kirshner.