Kirsten Johnson

  • Katy Chevigny & Kirsten Johnson – Deadline (2004)

    2001-2010DocumentaryKaty ChevignyKirsten JohnsonUSA

    In 2002, a group of young students at Northwestern University discover an abnormal number of flaws (confessions extracted under torture, false testimony, etc.) in trials having led to death sentences in Illinois. 13 prisoners on death row are then acquitted after their cases are reviewed. The Republican governor George Ryan, a former supporter of the death penalty, finds himself facing a dilemma a few months before leaving office: ignore this report, or fight to extensively reform the system while making an enemy of his political party. To make his decision, he orders hearings for pleas for mercy for the more than 160 prisoners who are sentenced to death in this state. Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson film these hearings and interview convicts and capital punishment legal experts. By highlighting the flaws of a profoundly racist, sexist and classist judiciary system, Deadline dares to put its finger on the irreconcilable divergences regarding the death penalty, combined here in the figure of a governor holding the power of life or death.Read More »

  • Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (2016)

    2011-2020DocumentaryKirsten JohnsonUSA


    A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage collected over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson.
    Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A hybrid work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
    Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.Read More »

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