Merete Mueller, USA 2022
Incarcerated participants in a mental health experiment watch videos of sunset-soaked beaches, wildflowers and forests on loop, prompting them to reflect on isolation and wilderness. Equal parts meditation and provocation, Blue Room identifies the damage done by withholding access to the outdoors and how we are all prisoners when the essential human need for communion with nature is denied.
I Didn’t See You There
Reid Davenport’s great film I Didn’t See You There works on two levels simultaneously.
First, it’s a funny, sharply observed feature-length autobiographical film about what it’s like for a disabled man with cerebral palsy to move through a world whose architects barely acknowledge his existence, and whose inhabitants treat him with contempt or condescension when they notice him at all. – –
Second – and of equal, or possibly greater importance – I Didn’t See You There is an experimental movie of great beauty. It’s filled with images of ordinary objects and situations that have been filmed in such surprising and revealing ways by Davenport that when you encounter them again in your own life, you will see them differently, and think of Davenport’s work.
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
Filmmaker Reid Davenport employs a first-person point of view for his documentary I Didn’t See You There, in which he lets us see the world through his own eyes. Davenport is disabled and often uses a wheelchair to get around Oakland, where he lives and makes films. He narrates the film, a sometimes funny and sometimes furious window into the casual inconveniences and less casual indignities he runs into in a world not built for him, and reflects on the legacy of figures like P.T. Barnum who turned disabilities into something to be both stared at and ignored. It’s a must-see.
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
I Didn’t See You There is also available online throughout the festival!