The Camera That Changed the World

    • Mandy Chang
    • England
    • 2011
    • 62 min
    • Dutch Premiere
    • Panorama
    It's hard to imagine these days, but once upon a time the documentary genre was enormously restricted by the simple fact that cameras were way too heavy to carry around. Then, over the course of a few months in 1960, that all changed. Two groups of American and French filmmakers developed the first portable cameras, and suddenly they were able to film events from everyday life. The Camera That Changed the World is a portrait of these ambitious, innovative filmmakers. The film shows why a portable, silent camera with synchronized sound was so important to them, and how that camera changed the way we look at the world forever - in a factual, cinematic, and poetic sense. While in the United States Robert Drew, Richard Leacock, and D. A. Pennebaker were converting an existing Auricon camera into a lighter, portable version, in France Jean Rouch and Michel Brault were the first to start working with a prototype of a portable, silent camera made by Eclair. Both made instant history with their first results: Primary (1960), about young presidential candidate John F. Kennedy in the state of Wisconsin, and Chronique d'un été (1960), about everyday life in Paris. In the documentary, the legends of cinema verité and direct cinema are interviewed, such as D. A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew, Michel Brault, and the recently deceased Richard Leacock.


    • 62 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: French, English
    • Subtitles in: English
    Mandy Chang
    Lambent Productions
    Executive producer
    Chris Durlacher for Lambent Productions
    Stephen Standen
    Gregor Lyon

    IDFA history

    Dutch Premiere

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