The Manhattan Front – featuring Madame Martha Held played by Lee DeLong. Courtesy of Polyvinyl Films

Untapped Cities Insiders are invited to attend the premiere screening of The Manhattan Front, an experimental, historical film about World War I and the Labor Movement in New York City. The film’s premiere at the Anthology Film Archives will coincide with the centennial anniversary of the World War I armistice on November 11th at 11:00am. Created by experimental filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Cathy Lee Crane, The Manhattan Front presents the true story of how America entered World War I with Crane’s signature aesthetic of fusing historic archival footage with fictional narrative. Much of the archival footage (from the National Archives in DC) of WWI and historic New York City has never been seen before, as it was recently digitally remastered. The filmmaker has also assembled an astonishingly detailed online visual timeline of WWI that includes historic photos organized by year and theme which you can view here.

DATE: Sunday, November 11th at 11:00AM-1:00PM

PRICE: FREE for Untapped Cities Insiders! ($10 for the general public)

CAPACITY: 10 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis.

REGISTRATION: Monday, October 29th, at 12 PM EST

The film follows the story of a German saboteur who travels to Manhattan to interrupt the export of American munitions to Britain. He soon finds a collaborator in a wayward stevedore who unwittingly leads him to a group of labor anarchists. Sabotage and betrayal soon turn these bedfellows into agents of the other’s tragic end. In the spirit of a silent film from the era, this musical melodrama plays itself out through the interaction of archival images and the theatrical rendition of lives as they might have been lived on the Manhattan Front.

The Manhattan Front Official Trailer from CATHY LEE CRANE on Vimeo.
Cathy Lee Crane has been charting a speculative history on film since 1994. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her award-winning films (which include the experimental biographies of Pasolini’s Last Words and Unoccupied Zone: The Impossible Life of Simone Weil) have screened at the Viennale, San Francisco International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Cinematheque Francais, BFI, and Arsenal/Berlin. Her body of work received its first survey in 2015 as part of the American Original Now series at the National Gallery of Art. She is currently in post-production on Crossing Columbus, a documentary on the US/Mexico Borderlands supported by Fellowship residencies with the El Paso Cultural Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Research Center.


If you are already an Untapped Cities Insider, log in to your account, and sign up for this tour on this page when registration opens on 10/29 at 12 PM EST.

If you are not an Untapped Cities Insider yet, join today and register for this tour on this page when tickets go live on 10/29 at 12 PM EST.

If you don’t see a “Book Now” button on this page, it means you are not logged in as an Untapped Cities Insider and/or registration has not opened yet.

Tickets are limited to one per member, unless the member is an Explorer level member and can bring a guest. Tickets are non transferable and your membership must be active when the tour takes place. Each booking will be verified to ensure each guest is a member. 

Please be courteous of your fellow Insiders – if you are no longer able to make a tour but have ticket(s), let us know at so we can release those spots to other members. We hope you are as excited as we are about this experience and hope you can join us!

A Suffrage Rally. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

The Manhattan Front – Leonore Offenback played by Sandra Glinka. Courtesy of Polyvinyl Films

Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.