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Kirsten Johnson

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About the Movie

A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home with the director: Kirsten Johnson weaves these scenes and others into her film Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over her twenty-five-year career as a documentary cinematographer. 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 with crafted narrative. A work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 86
  • Fresh: 85
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 8.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Enigmatic yet revelatory ... – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, Sep 22, 2016

Fresh: Cameraperson draws our attention not just to what we're seeing, but to how we're seeing it. It encourages us to wonder how a camera operator negotiates personal space in tense, intimate, emotionally fraught situations. – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice, Dec 28, 2016

Fresh: "Cameraperson" is a documentary unlike any other. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Sep 28, 2016

Fresh: Throughout there is an awareness of a distinct sensibility behind the camera: humane, engaged, unfailingly curious. – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, Sep 15, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Only movie I seriously wanted to request a refund

This film is seemingly random uniteresting clips that the self important director felt were artistically significant. I felt like I was staring at a Jackson Pollock and not a good one, random nonsense doesn't work in a documentary. Made it through 20 minutes and felt very foolish for buying it

Mesmerizing from beginning to end

I wanted to see it because of the RT rating and honestly expected I would just have to power through it given there's no traditional narrative. Instead, I found the film mesmerizing from beginning to end. I find it hard to express what it meant for me to see all those moments but maybe that's just the power of the camera – to capture so much truth (however subjective) that it cannot be easily reduced to words. The conversations between the director and cinematographer, or with the subjects, that are typically not part of a documentary were particularly compelling as an insight on what it means to be a witness to events and people. Among many other scenes, the breach birth and the quick thinking of getting ahead of the boxer in the hallway will stay with me. I hope to see CameraPerson 2 in another 25 years.

I want my money back

Felt like I was watching a bunch of deleted scenes thrown together loosely called a film. Unnecessary & self-absorbed

View in iTunes
  • $19.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2016

Customer Ratings

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