‘Punch 9,’ the first feature-length documentary about Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor, is coming to a Chicago AMC Theatre near you starting on Friday, Oct. 7. Tickets for the film go on sale on Friday, Sept. 23. Here is the link to purchase tickets. 

The film will screen multiple times daily and will be shown in AMC Theaters in select cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. 

The 105-minute documentary film discusses Washington’s upbringing, but centers on the historic 1983 mayoral election, his time in office and his death. 

Can’t wait until Oct. 7 to see the film? There’s an advanced film screening for ‘Punch 9’ on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:00 pm. at the Gene Siskel Film Center located at 164 N. State Street. 

Here is the link to purchase tickets. In addition, there will be a Q&A following the screening with the film’s director, Chicago native Joe Winston, and one of the film’s producers, Raymond Lambert.

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The TRiiBE caught up with Lambert, one of the film’s producers, days before what would have been Washington’s 100th Birthday. Washington was born on April 15, 1922, in Chicago. 

The truth of the matter is that few people are exceptional, and those people touch us in ways that haven’t been done before, and I think he’s that kind of person,” Lambert said, explaining why Washington’s story was an important one, to tell. “Harold was prepared. He was educated and intelligent; his dad was a lawyer and a precinct captain. So it shouldn’t even have been an issue about him being mayor. He was the right man at the right time, which still resonates with people 30 years later. A person like that is unforgettable.”

His ascension to the mayor’s office was legendary. His grassroots campaign mobilized more than 100,000 new registered voters for the mayoral election in 1983, defeating Republican candidate Bernard Epton by a slim 51.7% to 48% majority.

Washington served one full term and was in the middle of a second (after defeating former Mayor Jane Byrne and then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley) when he suddenly died of a heart attack on Nov. 25, 1987, at age 65. Although his untimely death cut short his second term, Washington enacted transformative change throughout his decades-long career in public life. 

As mayor, he opened the city’s budget process up for public input, fought to redistrict wards providing more Black and Latinx representation and created the Ethics Commission to check the power of the city’s administration. 

‘Punch 9’ premiered in 2021 at film festivals in New York and Chicago. Lambert added that Washington’s win was inspirational for Black people and what could be if people worked together to transform government on the local and national levels. 

More information about “Punch 9 for Harold Washington” can be found here.  

is a multimedia producer for The TRiiBE.