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12-4-22 In Memory of Julia Reichert ’70

Julia Reichert ’70 has passed away. Julia was diagnosed with urothelial cancer 4.5 years ago with a prognosis of around 18 months. The warrior Julia exceeded everyone’s expectations and chose to continue her craft and her life until she was ready. In a testament to the incredible impact Julia had on the world, remembrances and tributes have come in from those close to her personally, and those influenced, inspired, and illuminated by her work. Our hearts go out to Steve, Lela, her entire family, and all those touched by Julia and this tremendous loss.

Julia’s brilliant and poignant filmmaking began while she attended Antioch College, resulting in her groundbreaking first film, Growing Up Female (1971). Considered the first feature film of the women’s liberation movement, the documentary was selected as one of the 25 films in 2011 to be included in the National Film Registry, a division of the Library of Congress.

In a touching tribute recalling some of Julia’s formative years in Yellow Springs, WYSO shared: “While at Antioch, Reichert hosted a weekly show on WYSO, called The Single Girl, that challenged women to think beyond the narrow gender traditions in which they were raised.” ‘The radio station and the darkroom I credit as my forge. But at the time, you’re not thinking that,’ she said. ‘I had no idea I would be, quote unquote, a filmmaker. I just knew I loved photography. I loved getting better at it. I loved learning about taking pictures. And I really loved the radio.’

Julia’s professional accomplishments are well documented, as her work received well-deserving praise. Among other notable acknowledgments, film festival selections, and awards, she was the recipient of two Emmy Awards, four Academy Awards nominations, including a win for the 2020 film American Factory created with her partner Steve Bognar, and nominations for two Peabody Awards.

Like many Antiochians through the decades, Julia dealt with themes of gender, class, race and the global economy in her work. She encouraged people struggling with their lives to stay engaged and share their truth. She was ready to document their experiences by focusing on authentic voices, providing an honest look and amplifying important stories and topics – most importantly, people. There is no doubt she won important and lasting victories for humanity. Antioch College is honored to have been a part of Julia’s life and story.

A memorial service for Julia Reichert ‘70 will be held this Friday at 5:00PM at the Presbyterian church in the Village.

With sympathy and care,
Jane Fernandes
Antioch College

Read a full obituary of Julia Reichert, here.

Julia Reichert ’70 photo by Marc Weiss