An independent filmmaker, teacher, and pioneer member of the Boston film community since the 1960s, Richard Broadman (1946–2000) was fiercely devoted to chronicling the American urban experience through documentary forms, most notably oral history. A stringent believer in the medium of film and its power to represent the social issues which drove him to make his movies, Broadman never compromised on his vision, even if it meant occasionally funding a film on his own credit cards. “I really admired Richard because he stuck with making documentaries long after the funding channels had dried up,” noted Ted Reed, one of Broadman’s close friends and president of Counter Productions in Beverly, MA. “He had a real talent for pulling people together.”
Broadman’s work spanned three decades, with such films as Down the Project: The Crisis of Public Housing, Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston and Brownsville Black & White, the story of race relations over three decades in the Brooklyn neighborhood, completed before his death at the age of fifty-three. In addition to his own work, Broadman mentored scores of students while teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Film and Video Foundation, where he also served on the Board of Directors. – Wen Zhuang
About the Collection
Broadman’s films were donated to the HFA in 2019 as an addition to the Documentary Educational Resources collection and include negatives, sound masters, outtakes, and prints of his films. The material is currently unprocessed and closed for research. Many of Broadman's films are accessible through Documentary Educational Resources.