Some of my favorite documentaries tend to tell stories you wouldnt believe if they werent true. Finding Vivian Maier is one such story.
Vivian Maier worked as a nanny for four decades in Chicago. Secretive and somewhat reclusive, Maiers eventual legacy would be discovered when real estate agent John Maloof bought a large batch of photographic prints and negatives from an auction house.
Maloofs further investigation led to the discovery of more than 100,000 prints and undeveloped negatives spanning decades of Maiers photography. Finding Vivian Maier details Maloofs efforts to dig into Vivians past, as well as get her works publicly exhibited.
With my Columbus photographer/artist friend Lisa Ragland reminding me of Maiers bold approach to street photography (as well as Maiers eccentricity), I found myself entranced into this look at an artist who didnt seem to intend to share her art.
As the details grow more and more strange, the documentary takes form as both an unfolding mystery and a portrait of an artists mind (often a terrifying and fascinating place).
Bottom line: Finding Vivian Maier is one of the best documentaries of this year.
-BRAD KEEFE, COLUMBUS ALIVE