'City So Real' Takes a Closer Look at Chicago's Historic 2019 Mayoral Election

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Chicago Story Film, LLC/National Geographic

Sixteen shots decided the future for Chicago Mayor Rham Emanuel. The attempted cover-up over the death of an African American teenager, Laquan McDonald, by deadly police force shocked the city.

The documentary series, City So Real, from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James, will air in an unprecedented one-night, five-hour, commercial-free event Thursday, October 29 on National Geographic Channel.

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Chicago Story Film, LLC/Courtesy of National Geographic

The “Greatest City in America” is composed of small, diverse, corner-town neighborhoods but the landscape has changed with the closing of factories. As the young families leave, crime goes up, municipal coffers dry up, gun violence goes up leading to social uprising.

So many Black people are leaving the city because “you can’t even go for a walk without police harassment,” one claimed. “The Chicago Police Department is the biggest gang in Chicago,” said another mourner attending a vigil.

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Chicago Story Film, LLC/National Geographic

After Mayor Emanuel announces he will not seek re-election, 21 candidates crowd the playing field for a historic 2019 mayoral contest. With a no-holds barred battle before them, each candidate presents their active vision to shape the city's future.

The portrait of the city is also the story of our nation. The quintessential American city must face its ignored and neglected problems and search for leadership that can bring equity and inclusion to its many neighborhoods.

City So Real, Premiere, Thursday, October 29, 7/6c, National Geographic Channel