A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into a tapestry of footage captured over the twenty-five-year career of cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. A work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world. Official Selection, 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Cinematographer Johnson is shooting b-roll footage of Sarajevo, Bosnia, including the backs of two young men looking out over the city (but we never see their faces) and footage of a group of people walking by a cemetery.
Prosecuting attorney, Guy James Gray, describes evidence he prepared in the James Byrd case. Byrd, a Black man in Jasper, TX, was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to death by two white men. To avoid showing graphic photos in open court, Gray's team prepared a book of photos for the jury. In the clip, Gray describes some of the book's content.
Johnson's driver informs her that journalists need a permit to shoot video of the prison – a permit they don't have. So they plan to say they are making an movie for entertainment, which doesn't need a permit. But their subterfuge raises the suspicion of soldiers and we're left to wonder if the driver is arrested.
Johnson is shooting footage of her mother, who is identified as being in early stages of Alzheimer's. When Johnson asks her mother if it's okay to film, her mother seems lost in another reality and never actually gives an answer. If this was a courtroom, her mother would likely be judged not competent enough to stand trial.
Syrian dissident, Charif Kiwan, speaks to a university audience about the ethics of showing the violated, dead bodies of the victims of war or atrocities. When he asserts that showing graphic images is just about making money, a student challenges him with an example where a powerful image of a dead child turned the tide of public sentiment.
For the last 20 years, civil war has raged in Sudan, killing and displacing millions. Two young refugees, Peter and Santino, lost their families and set out to make new lives for themselves in America.
Through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers called the White Helmets, Last Men in Aleppo allows viewers to experience the daily life, death, and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm.
On the isolated North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands, the longtime hunting practices of the Faroese are threatened by dangerously high mercury levels in the whales, decimated seabird populations, and anti-whaling activists. The Faroe islanders consider themselves a canary in the mine, their tale a warning to the rest of the world. Winner, 2016 DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize.
This startling expose unravels a history of abuse of suspects by the Chicago police. For more than a decade, the press and authorities turned a blind eye to allegations of torture — including the use of electric shocks — until persistent grass roots organizations exerted enough pressure to prompt an official investigation, and eventually the dismissal of a ranking police commander.
89-year-old Kang Gye-Yeol and 98-year-old Jo Byeong-Man are married and have lived together for 76 years. While Kang and Jo spend every day like a newlywed couple, they now must face the reality of their aging romance. My Love, Don't Cross that River captures the fleeting moments of their twilight days.