CUFF DOCS PREVIEW: FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

84 min./USA/2014

Directed & Produced by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel

Screens: November 21, 7 p.m.

Vivian Maier was a quiet nanny who privately took over 100,000 photographs, most of them on the streets of Chicago and New York City. She never showed them to anyone, hiding them, instead, in storage lockers. The collection was discovered after her death decades later and Maier is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers, along Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Weegee.

Finding Vivian Maier follows the filmmakers as they unearth Maier’s story, combing through thousands of negatives and a mountain of other material (including hundreds of hours of Super 8 film footage and audio recordings) left behind in her storage lockers. As the filmmakers track down an odd collection of parents who hired her, children she cared for, store owners, movie theatre operators and curious neighbours who remember her, the story that emerges goes beyond clichés of the undiscovered artist and offers a portrait that is at times bewildering and troubling. Maier’s story pushes us to ask as many questions about ourselves as it does about her.

Read BeatRoute’s Q&A with the co-directors here.

By Team CUFF

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