The Big House
  • Country/Area of Production USA, Japan
  • Language of DialogueEnglish
  • Runtime119min
  • DirectorSoda Kazuhiro, Markus Nornes, Terri Sarris
  • Type of Work Feature-Length Documentary
  • ProducerSoda Kazuhiro, Markus Nornes, Terri Sarris

Ann Arbor, Michigan is the prototypical college town—a small city with a massive research university, a tradition of political radicalism and Michigan Stadium, the largest in the United States and the home of University of Michigan football. With a capacity of 107, 601 the entire population of Ann Arbor fits in the stadium, which fans affectionately call The Big House. Michigan football goes back to 1879, and is known for its distinctive winged helmet and its fight song The Victors. But this direct cinema documentary eschews gridiron grandeur to look closely at all the labor—from the cooks to the cops to the cleaners—that goes into hosting 100,000 people. Shot against the backdrop of the 2016 election and the rise of Donald Trump, it presents a microcosm of America by showing everything but the game.