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Cameraperson (2016)Cameraperson (2016)

Cameraperson (2016)

Singular, moving, and surprising—a must-see documentary that reflects on craft, memoir, and the quiet roles we play in our own lives and beyond

Documentary

best
THE VERY BEST

8.5

movie

United States of America

Arabic, Bosnian, English

Original

2016

Female director, Kirsten Johnson

Jacques Derrida, Kirsten Johnson, Michael Moore

102 min

Synopsis

As a visually radical memoir, CAMERAPERSON draws on the remarkable footage that filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has shot and reframes it in ways that illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her. What emerges is an elegant meditation on the relationship between truth and the camera frame, as Johnson transforms scenes that have been presented on Festival screens as one kind of truth into another kind of story—one about personal journey, craft, and direct human connection.

Our Take

8.5
Taylor Leigh Harper

In Cameraperson, documentarian and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson creates an incredible patchwork of her life—and her life’s work. Johnson has been behind the camera of seminal documentaries like Citizenfour, The Invisible War, and The Edge of Joy. Here, Johnson stitches together fragments of footage, shot over 25 years, reframes them to reveal the silent but influential ways in which she has been an invisible participant in her work. 

In one segment, Johnson places the camera down in the grass. A hand reaches into the frame briefly, pulling up weeds that would otherwise obscure the shot. Cameraperson is a must-see documentary that challenges us to reconsider and reflect upon how we see ourselves and others through the camera lens, and beyond it.

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