It’s Basic film screening

Anthology Film Archives: 32 Second Avenue, NY NY 10003
Doors: 6p
Screening: 6:30p (77 minute run-time)

Free, but RSVP required. Register here.

“The idea of a guaranteed income is as old as the nation itself and has deep roots in the fight for social justice.”

— Michael Tubbs, Founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

Artists Alliance Inc. and City Lore are proud to present a special screening of the Blowback Productions documentary It’s Basic (2023). The feature-length documentary spotlights pilot Guaranteed Income programs launched in five U.S. cities, which tested the effects of giving everyday people an extra $500 to $1,000 per month, with no strings attached.

Directed by Marc Levin and executive produced by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) founder Michael Tubbs, the film explores the power of cash, the importance of dignity, and the ongoing work of providing an income floor as experienced by Guaranteed Income recipients in Saint Paul, MN; Cambridge, MA; Newark, NJ; Gainesville, FL; and Los Angeles, CA. With insights from Tubbs and other MGI movement leaders, and interviews with program recipients and participating mayors across the country, the real-life challenges of trying to get by on a daily basis are at the heart of the film.

It’s basic. Just give people money. Sounds simple and at the same time preposterous. But it turns out it’s an idea that has been around for quite a while. As filmmakers our greatest challenge was trying to weave a host of characters form five cities into an organic whole. We didn’t want the film to seem like a survey. Instead, we wanted to get to know these people and were constantly trying to find a balance between their stories and the larger policy issues and history.

In the end, we blended it all together in a way that we hope opens minds and touches hearts.

It’s Basic. A little bit of money. A world of difference.

— Marc Levin, Director

It’s Basic will enrage you. But it will also make you optimistic that the tide will turn, and that compassion and justice will one day prevail.”

— Boston Globe

“With great intimacy and hopeful stories, It’s Basic tracks the gathering momentum toward a philosophy of lifting up those who are struggling to survive in the world’s richest country.”

— Tribeca Film Festival

It’s Basic, a deeply moving new documentary about universal basic income, shows the shocking thing people do when the government hands them money with no strings attached: They help other people.”

— MovieMaker Magazine

“Speaking to participants in programs from Los Angeles, California, to St Paul, Minnesota and Newark, New Jersey, Tubbs and Levin show the human side of guaranteed income-working to dispel a 400-year myth over who is deserving of government aid and who is not.”

— The Guardian

MARC LEVIN, Director of It’s Basic, is an award-winning producer and director who brings narrative and verité techniques together in his independent films, episodic television series, and over 50 documentaries. He has won four Emmys, four DuPont-Columbia awards, the Grand Jury Prize, and Camera d’Or, for major programming networks including HBO, Showtime, and PBS.

MICHAEL D. TUBBS, Executive Producer of It’s Basic, became the youngest mayor of any major city in American history at age 26. Under his stewardship, Stockton, CA was named an “All-America City” in 2017 and 2018, the second most fiscally healthy city in California, one of the top most fiscally healthy cities in the nation and was featured in the HBO documentary film, “Stockton on My Mind.” He is the Founder and Chair of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All-star Alumni, considered the “Most Valuable Mayor” by The Nation, the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center, and 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library.

This event is made possible with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Special thanks to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.