USA 2016 Documentary
1hr 42 min (M offensive language)
What does it mean to film another person? How does it affect that person - and what does it do to the one who films?
Kirsten Johnson is one of the most notable cinematographers working in documentary cinema today, having shot CITIZENFOUR, HAPPY VALLEY, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, THE OATH, THE INVISIBLE WAR and dozens of other essential documentaries.
With her visually radical memoir CAMERAPERSON, Johnson presents an extraordinary and deeply poetic film of her own, drawing on the remarkable and varied footage that she has shot and reframing it in ways that illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her. What emerges is an elegant meditation on the relationship between story-telling and the camera frame, as Johnson transforms scenes that have been presented in so many other directors' films as one reflection of truth into another kind of story - one about personal journey, craft, and direct human connection.
A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage collected over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson.
Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A hybrid work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker's personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
“Mesmerizing” — Washington Post