A Bientôt !
I am a French exchange student at City College of New York.
“Mckibbin” is my first short documentary.
Fifteen years ago, a factory located between busy Bushwick and cosy East Williamsburg in Brooklyn, was converted into a loft apartment building.
The building made the front cover of the New York Times for its artistic’s life before being investigated by the FBI looking for Anonymous’s member. Since then, between the crazy parties and bed bug infestations, the place is known as “The infamous Mckibbin”.
We decided to meet its residents…
Here is the result of my second video.
I ask two different personalities their opinions about Reality TV. Both aim to evolve into the public sphere as journalist or artist.
The 90′s generation, popularly called “Generation Y”, is highly criticized by some regretting the lack of values and the emergence of new disposable standards as fame and easy money that Reality TV like to enhance.
But what do they think?
Thanks to my exchange program I am taking a documentary workshop this semester.
This video is the result of my first assignment and it was the very first time I was shooting with a camera and editing a video.
Assignment: “Give the sense of a place that means something to you with a sequence of shots (video only/no audio). Camero is locked (no handheld or zoom or tilts or pans). Edited length: 2min.”
I chose to shot my block and the inside of my appartment. My goal was to convey an idea of inclosement and lost of privacy.
Please, click, zoom and enjoy your reading!
If you know what to expect at 18, what comes after your first times, what comes after 21 years old remain a mystery…
I have a very precise memory in mind, I am eleven years old, living in Paris, I just got in junior high school. My old brother came in the kitchen to tell my mother he saw me kissing a boy at school. The goal being me getting yell at. At the time my mom had this disarming reaction for my brother and so saving for me: “Yes Louis, she said, your little sister is now a pre-adolescent.” Oh joy, Oh happiness! I had a status in this society. I was a pre-adolescent, that so famous phenomenon that I heard about so much in the magazines. What a relive! From my 13 years I got to the next step: teenager. At 18 things change a little. You are not a teenager anymore you are a University student. But you have been preparing to this. Your parents, society has taught you what it is like to be a young adult. It is for after 21 that you are not prepare.
Until 21 years old you don’t ask yourself question, you act. You learn to flight by yourself little by little: 1st moving out, travel by yourself, the 1st roommates….as many as symbolic steps that indicates things are changing. Everyone likes to speak about evolution, like it was helping, like it was giving you the illusion of a start from a point A to a point B. The idea of starting from a point A to a land of a total wandering doesn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind. Or anyone doesn’t talk about it. Except that as soon as the storm of 1st times has past, you have to ask yourself question again! For people around me this non-step begins at 21. The first years of University are like high school you can let yourself float, the only goal is to pass the exams and pass into the next year. Until then nothing new under the sun. Suddenly the Master class arrive. From now on having made an internship or having travel around the world is not exceptional anymore. People expect more from you. The moment of asking yourself question come back but this time even more seriously: What am I going to for living? And because of our society nowadays you also have to ask yourself: What can or should I do for living? But still…we have no answer to offer.
On the University side, you suddenly have to write a thesis, elaborate a personal reflection about a study object, a simple 10/20 at exams is not enough anymore. At least not if you hope to pursue in Grad school and reaching by the same way the Holy Grail: being a M.A. student. An outcome you don’t really remember why you were pursuing it. After all you just have to take a look on society, on its economic state, to understand that in the end, even an M.A. won’t be enough either. Everything and more is never enough. In my struggle I realize that if this feeling is share by a lot of young people all over the world, no one talks about it. No one talk about this tough period, stuck between teenager and adult. We are bastard that society ignores. Who is the dumbass that spread the rumors about the twenties being the happiest part of your life? A hippy! A man who enjoyed freedom of spirit, freedom of act, thanks to the society he was living in. Today I am looking again and again for this carefreeness…I still haven’t find it! After all we are only the “sacrificed generation”, the “Y generation” as they said. That is finally when I realize that designation, acknowledgment of a status, does not make it all.
The documentary “central park five” of Ken Burns goes back to the case known as the “Central Park jogger”. On april 19th 1989, Trisha Meili a successful white woman working at Wall Street was found in central park raped and beaten almost to death. Quickly the police thought they found the perfect suspects: 5 young African-American teenagers arrested in the Park that night. The documentary starts in 1989 and follows their path through the justice machine until 2003. In fact it is only 12 years later that the truth comes out with the confessions of the aggressor and his DNA proving the innocence of the five teenagers.
As the documentary explains it what made this assault so popular and polemic was its inter-racial characteristic. At the time the drama takes place in an unsafe New York City where crack, poverty and violence are spreading everywhere. “Even parents were afraid of their own kids” explain the documentary. Even if the case takes place twenty years ago, the interviews of the protagonists, historian, journalists and the archives images illustrate really well the context and follow a timeline that highlights how everything got carried away. The police wanted to find so bad the aggressor that they did not do their job properly. Quickly the five young men admit a crime they did not commit and the press followed the police’s opinion with a massive bashing around these teenagers.
This case brings us back to the worst of humanity and also makes question yourself. What would have been your reaction at the time? When every newspaper is showing the “perfect” suspects for such an awful crime, wouldn’t we have been tempted to just believe it without questioning it? Moreover the documentary demonstrates the disability of the suspects to stand up for themselves and ask for example for a lawyer. These teenagers and family were not armed enough to fight back this spiral. As the documentary goes on you understand more and more the damaged made to these young life. Each of them was between 15 and 17 years old when they got arrested and spend at least seven years incarcerated. Trisha Meili is unfortunately far from being the only victim is this case. Finally it seems that our inability to recognize our mistakes is to blame. Even when these teenagers’ DNA were not matching the police and the press still thought they were the perfect suspects. No one wanted to add a doubt.
In a larger picture the documentary makes you think to those innocents still in jail as we speak only because it is too hard to take responsibility of having made a mistake at this level. The historian interviewed in the documentary analyze: “We are not always good people. And most of the time we are not.” This documentary is definitely one of those that make it difficult to go back to your daily life. In the end when one of the protagonist conclude “the truth came out, the truth came out” the only thing you can wonder is “Yes. But at what price?”