Detroit bankruptcy documentary can be streamed for free at home again


If you missed “Gradually, Then Suddenly: Detroit Bankruptcy” during the Freep Film Festival, there’s a new opportunity to watch the documentary at home – for free.

All advance tickets for the two opening nights of both films at the Freep Film Festival on Wednesday were quickly gobbled up. Additionally, the film — which provides a detailed look at Detroit’s historic bankruptcy — was also available virtually throughout the festival, and those streaming tickets also sold out on Wednesday.

Now, the Kresge Foundation has partnered with the Freep Film Festival and filmmakers to bring more free views to Michigan residents. In a recent column, The Kresge Foundation, Rip Rapson, described “Gradually, Then Suddenly” as “engrossing” and timely.

After: Kresge’s Rip Rapson: What Detroit needs to do to maintain solvency | Opinion

The new availability will last for two weeks or until the maximum number of streams is reached, whichever comes first.

Reservations for the virtual screening can be done now on the festival site. Tickets are limited. Those who reserve tickets will receive an email giving them access to the film. More details on how virtual access works are available here.

People waiting for the film to start on the opening night of the Freep Film Festival with the film

“Gradually, Then Suddenly” tells the dramatic story of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy, depicting the city’s dire financial situation as a canary in the coal mine for municipalities nationwide. From the controversial appointment of an emergency officer to the enactment of the so-called Grand Bargain, the film offers new insights and behind-the-scenes details of the pivotal moment in the city’s history.

In 2021, the documentary won the $200,000 Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, a competition designed to help bring historical documentaries to the finish line.

After:Documentary about Detroit bankruptcy saga wins $200,000 prize

Additionally, separate from the film festival, the film crew has scheduled other in-person screenings of the documentary. Details are in the story below.

After:Where to see the Detroit Bankruptcy documentary if you missed it at the Freep Film Fest

“Gradually, Then Suddenly: Detroit’s Bankruptcy”

New virtual availability


Tickets available until May 15 on


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