True or False? 2016: Cameraperson

I shall not write much about this film.

It was an enjoyable and easy to follow film, even as it is simply a collection of outtakes swept up from the proverbial editing floor to compile a see-saw story of the film shoots that have stuck in the heart and mind of Kirsten Johnson, a renowned documentary cameraperson.

K.J., as she is called, uses this film as her memoir, which is quite fitting that she, as the one always shooting from behind the lens, should use her most challenging and lingering moments to compile her memoir in film format.

It is likely appealing for our shorter attention spans, in the Millenial generation that loves watching Vines and short You Tube clips or whatever 1 or 2 min. videos are shared on Facebook. The film works, because even though it jumps every few minutes or less from one geographical location to another, from Alabama to Kosovo to New York to Liberia, K.J. brings us back several times to each location, depending on what she is focused on for ten minutes or so.

Several funny moments come in and several intimate moments where she is simply enjoying taking in the activity and nature in front of the lens. As well, she includes contrasts from the crowded streets of an African market to the solitude of the Kosovo mountains on a family’s farm.

We see her family and her processing of the old and young, the weak and strong, and she uses those in front of her camera to speak the words she wants or needs to hear for herself. For example, how someone can spend their career filming such stark reality of the developing world and the injustices common to humanity is quite beyond me. And she seems to know that struggle, so she allows a colleague to speak those words.

So, inherently, the film is incredibly self-serving to K.J. But I am incredibly grateful to have been invited along to take part in her processing of her career, family, and how that could frame her future.


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