Milwaukee Film Festival 2016: Cameraperson
By Devvon Eubanks
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. It's certainly a perfect description of cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s “Cameraperson,” a multifaceted visual memoir of scenes and events around the world that shows the power of being behind a camera. Johnson compiled this colorful collection of footage through various films and videos she shot over a 25-year period, and the end result is nothing short of extraordinary. From an intense boxing match in Brooklyn to being at Ground Zero of the devastation of New York’s Twin Towers, and even to the lush hills and plains of Foča, Bosnia, this riveting documentary gives the viewer many feelings throughout different scenes and settings. There are historic sites of pain, rape, and death, but there are also images of new life and happiness, such as the eyes of a newborn Nigerian child just brought into the world. Johnson’s panoramic shots, various interviews, and close-ups of emotional subjects bring the viewer to the center of a world in motion, and her pictures give various perspectives and ideals of a global people in multiple cultures. It is a view of the world that is rarely shown, and Johnson successfully puts these powerful visuals in front of the audience to move them in ways few films can. Overall, “Cameraperson” is an indisputably powerful account of a world which must not be overlooked by any lover of cinema or art.