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257 Ratings


Directed by Kirsten Johnson
United States, 2016


As a visually radical memoir, Cameraperson draws on the remarkable footage that Kirsten Johnson has shot and reframes it in ways that illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her.

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Cameraperson Directed by Kirsten Johnson

Awards & Festivals

Independent Spirit Awards

2017 | Nominee: Best Documentary

Village Voice Film Poll

2016 | 3 nominations including: Best Film

Johnson displays a willingness to interrogate her own practice—and in the process illustrates why she’s such a sterling pro. It’s the rare sort of self-awareness that radiates with humility instead of personal branding, and it’s essential in a moment when even progressive nonfiction filmmaking too often opts for emotional shorthand and cheap shots.
October 18, 2018
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In one scene in Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson, we see a USB stick being thrown into a concrete mixer. Shot while making Citizenfour with director Laura Poitras, we watch as it is laid into the concrete floor and buried. We don’t know if the contents of at least part of the drive were released by Edward Snowden. We can only imagine that some of those images, data, and reports have disappeared. This shot and the worries it evokes echo throughout Johnson’s remarkable film.
April 24, 2017
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The grounding presence is Johnson, whose status as a cameraperson becomes the film’s thematic core, adopting the perspective the professional observer instead of the person in charge. Johnson’s footage is especially compelling because of the nature of her work, which has taken her to war zones and other global hotspots. Though the film lacks actual instances of battle, it’s infused with the tension of buildup and aftermath.
February 14, 2017
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