CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (3.5/4 stars)
"Stunningly effective and shockingly memorable...with real-life characters worthy of a big-budget film. Graphic, gut-wrenching footage. “Eastland” is filled with insightful interviews with professors, authors, historians and the descendants of passengers. This valuable documentary does a magnificent job of shining the spotlight on all sides of the story."
"One of the most compelling and electrifying documentaries I've ever seen. A brilliant film...extraordinary and haunting...sets the record straight by laying the blame where it deserves and doing honor to the victims."
"Footage that is shocking, dramatic and unbelievable."
"A great new documentary features rare, previously censored newsreel footage from the scene, state-of-the-art computer graphics demonstrating how the ship rolled over."
"One Helluva movie, wildly entertaining"
"The Eastland disaster can teach us a lot about ethnicity and class in Gilded Age America. Both help explain why it happened, why the boat's owners were never held accountable,
and why it's been forgotten."
DAILY NORTH SHORE
"Within those 1200 seconds, it would become the day Chicago wept."
"EASTLAND, a steamship dubbed the “blue- collar Titanic,” was supposed to depart for a Western Electric picnic for immigrant workers and their families as they celebrated a rare Saturday off in 1915 Chicago. The ship never made it off the shore of the Chicago River, capsizing with over 2,500 passengers aboard.
In one of the darkest moments of maritime history, 844 souls drowned, many of them women and children.
The combination of gripping reenactments, historical photographs, lively accounts from experts and relatives of survivors, and the lurid newsreel that was banned from Chicago theaters give this film a devastating edge as it unspools the story in a fast-paced and surprisingly touching narrative.
EASTLAND has it all: heroes, villains, corruption, legal shenanigans, carnage, teenage adventurers, greed, humor, injustice, and even romance. This is history at its most vivid, bringing a forgotten and tragic moment of Chicago’s past roaring back to life."