Cinema Review: Cameraperson

Posted January 19, 2017 in Cinema Reviews

BIMM January 2018
Bello Bar


Director: Kirsten Johnson

Released: 27th January


Over a career spanning twenty-five years, Kirsten Johnson, a nonfiction cinematographer whose credits include Darfur Now and Citizenfour, accumulated a wealth of unused footage which she has now assembled in a mesmerizing, impressionistic collage that functions both as a visual memoir of sorts and as an investigation into the ethics and mechanics of documentary filmmaking.

The material ranges from the socio-political, with special emphasis placed on her time spent interviewing survivors of the Bosnian War, to the deeply personal, featuring her children, her father and, most movingly, her mother’s gradual deterioration due to Alzheimer’s disease. Although the film lacks any semblance of narrative, a theme soon begins to emerge: questioning the morality of depicting suffering and violence and the ambiguous role of the journalist in construing reality, while also painting a surprisingly complete picture of Johnson, the unseen, constant presence behind the camera. Unusual and very interesting.

Words – Felipe Deakin



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