|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Finding Vivian Maier|
|Regie:||John Maloof & Charlie Siskel|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 84 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
Sometimes chance reveals the most incredible stories. The documentary "Finding Vivian Maier" tells such a story that begins with 29-year-old historian John Maloof bidding for a box full of old negatives in an auction house for a book about the Chicago Portage Park neighborhood. Since none of the photos contained in it was suitable for the book, this box was first stored in a cupboard. Only two years later Maloof realized that he had found a little treasure here. Because the photos showed great street photographs from Chicago, which revealed an outstanding view for hidden beauties and fascinating everyday details. Initial research on the owner of the photos, a certain Vivian Maier, did not yield any results. Only when Maloof came across the woman's obituary in 2009 did he decide to find out more about her, her life and her photographs. Bit by bit he was presented with the image of a very withdrawn nanny, whose estate is far larger than the Maloof can imagine…
"Finding Vivian Maier" is an absolutely fascinating documentary. This is not only due to the fact that most of the photos that have come to light through Maloof's research are a great testimony to an undiscovered talent. Rather, it is due to the mystery of Vivian Maier that Maloof tries to decipher. His way there is just as exciting as the results of his discussions with former clients and people who were looked after by Maier as a child. The result is the image of a very eccentric woman who never left the house without a camera, who captured her fellow men and their everyday life in her city with photos and films, but who herself remained something of a phantom. Even the people she had lived with for a long time didn't really know her, didn't know why she collected countless newspaper clippings or why she took thousands of photos, but never had them developed.
Not everything you learn about Vivian Maier, makes the loner appear in a particularly good light. Some things are even downright disturbing, for example when it is said that she photographed a boy after a car accident instead of helping in any way. Maloof himself must also ask himself whether Maier really would have wanted the attention that her photos have attracted in the art world with exhibitions all over the world. Whether she wouldn't have been scared away by the fame and recognition she experiences posthumously, rather than happy to be in the spotlight. What he and the audience learn about Vivian Maier rather suggests that she would have done anything to prevent the publication of her photos and this film. And in fact there are moments when the viewer is afraid to withdraw the curtain even further from what Vivian Maier has hidden from her fellow human beings throughout her life.
"Finding Vivian Maier" is a thrilling, exciting, moving, disturbing and yet simply beautiful film that works just as well as a portrait of an obsessed artist as an exciting search for clues or a fascinating psychogram. A great work that can be warmly recommended not only to lovers of first-class documentaries. Absolutely worth seeing!
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