Must See Film of The Day

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Chicago filmmaker Ben Russell’s 2009 documentary LET EACH ONE GO WHERE HE MAY, screening tonight in STIFF, is nothing short of genius. Russell won a Guggenheim for this work which has  a fascinating premise for ethnography. Russell follows two Saramaccan Maroon brothers as they travel ostensibly the same route that their runaway slave ancestors took some 300 years ago when fleeing from Dutch slave traders. Russell and his cinematographer Chris Fawcett accomplish this feat by following the two men in a series of 13 uninterrupted, roughly 10-minute takes, mostly shot on Steadicam. The result is an oddly hypnotic movie riddled with moments of disarming beauty, and some sequences remind you that, as with the work of Jean Rouch, cinema can be an essential tool that explores ideas that traditional ethnography cannot.

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