"'And This Is Free' is the fascinating personal vision of life around Chicago's Maxwell Street open air market shot by award winning photographer Mike Shea [capturing] the gritty urban landscape that nurtured Chicago blues... Shot with a handheld camera in the cinema verite style... the film crew spent every weekend on Maxwell Street over a six month period... The flow of everyday details - overheard conversation, faces in the crowd, items strewn in a vendor's stall - captivates the viewer with the power of authenticity." The film uses the footage to illustrate a Sunday afternoon on Maxwell Street in 1964.
0:00Copy video clip URL Black.
0:25Copy video clip URL Title over a shot of a busy expressway reads “Chicago IL, Sunday: And This Is Free”
1:00Copy video clip URL Title reads “Maxwell St. Market.” Off-screen narrator: “Around here it’s a little bit of everything.”
2:20Copy video clip URL Spectators stand and watch Carrie Robinson sing on the sidewalk and Jim Brewer play guitar.
3:30Copy video clip URL Man preaches to a crowd about God working in mysterious ways.
4:20Copy video clip URL Street vendor hands out samples for removing callouses from feet.
5:40Copy video clip URL Various vendors try to sell their goods.
7:44Copy video clip URL Comment about rich and poor people coming around.
8:48Copy video clip URL Robert Nighthawk sings and plays guitar on the street.
9:40Copy video clip URL “Before they put the expressway in this place was always jumping… it was terrific.”
10:26Copy video clip URL “Most of these people that come down here they have regular jobs; they have stores somewhere else… We should have quit a long time ago; there’s nothing here.”
11:57Copy video clip URL “Years ago, if a fella didn’t want to go to college, he had a little chance.”
13:44Copy video clip URL Man speaks to an audience about “Wise Man Incense.” Off-screen narrator: “That’s what most of these people come down here for… Look at them: you got 20 people and not one bag in their hand.”
15:05Copy video clip URL “There’s another nice story: the con man. You’d be surprised, the preparation that a guy has to go through to come out here just one Sunday.”
16:10Copy video clip URL Man plays harmonica and sings.
16:39Copy video clip URL Street vendor sells one of “The World’s Smallest Saxophones” to a little boy, who has trouble figuring out how to play it.
19:00Copy video clip URL Woman performs in the street, singing and dancing.
23:25Copy video clip URL “See, this street served its purpose years ago when everyone was a greenhorn.”
26:20Copy video clip URL Man unfolds a “Free Africa” sign, and a boy rides by on scooter with sticker reading “Prosperity.”
27:30Copy video clip URL People dancing and drinking in the streets.
30:00Copy video clip URL Group sings about how wonderful Jesus is to them.
31:00Copy video clip URL Blues song playing over shots of children.
31:30Copy video clip URL Audio of a woman speaking about about so many people being dissatisfied playing over two people having a separate conversation. “A lot of people are sick in the brain.”
34:06Copy video clip URL Close-up of two men “discreetly” passing something off between them.
36:00Copy video clip URL A drunken street performer plays an accordion, then tries to get a chicken to “lay down like a baby and go to sleep.” A woman asks for a shot of alcohol. Two police officers show up. The man puts his hands up in a sign of surrender and leaves.
37:56Copy video clip URL Audio of young boy talking about what instruments he can play over a shot of him singing and playing on a box. “This lady… she gonna try to get me on this show to sing with them.”
39:25Copy video clip URL Men embrace a woman and ask God to save her soul.
41:17Copy video clip URL Screen briefly freezes on the previous woman and another woman hugging.
42:40Copy video clip URL Vendors begin to pack up their wares from the day and head home. “If you ever stop to realize what a big moving feat this is.”
46:43Copy video clip URL “There won’t be a Maxwell anymore; no one wants it.”
47:20Copy video clip URL “This street should be white as snow… A beautiful white market.”
48:00Copy video clip URL Title reading “The End. Mike Shea Films.”
48:43Copy video clip URL Video Ends.