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Exploiting Vivian Maier: When Do Docs Invade Privacy?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • March 27, 2014 1:14 PM
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Don't get me wrong: I like "Finding Vivian Maier," the new documentary I wrote about in Indiewire, which is opening this week. And by raising the many issues that are inherent in the film, I don't mean to simply criticize the movie: I only mean to highlight what's already there. As I wrote today: The film raises many questions: When is it "appropriate to expose the lives and works of others who would rather be left alone? What responsibilities do filmmakers have when they speak on behalf of those who have chosen not to speak publicly for themselves?"

What Sergei Loznitsa's "My Joy" Tells Us About the Current Crisis in Ukraine

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • March 26, 2014 10:52 AM
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Ukraine is not an occupied territory—at least not yet. Though the country’s southernmost part, Crimea, was recently annexed by Russia, Ukraine has been officially an independent nation since 1991. But judging from the recent narrative films of Belarus-born and Ukrainian-bred director Sergei Loznitsa, the experience of those living in post-Communist states is flush with occupied feelings of humiliation, oppression, dysfunction and displacement. As I write in a recent piece on Fandor, "If there was ever a film that might metaphorically express the current political situation on the ground in Ukraine, Loznitsa’s narrative feature debut My Joy might be it."

Six Warnings for Documentary Filmmakers

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • March 6, 2014 4:12 PM
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Judging from the comments and Facebook posts in reply to Jill Godmillow's recently published editorial on "The Act of Killing," there are a lot of people--documentary filmmakers and fans--who took issue with the Oscar-nominated nonfiction director's response to the film. There has also been a strangely age-ist reaction--MovieCityNews touted "At 70, Doc-Maker Jill Godmilow Prescribes A 3,800-Word Warning For 39-Year-Old Joshua Oppenheimer"--as if the critique has something to do with Godmillow being some old fuddy-duddy filmmaker who is out of touch with formalist documentary cinema.

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