Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
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Stokes recorded every story she possibly could, from 1977 to 2012. By then, it had become a lot easier to chronicle both the minutiae and the magnitude of life in the 21st century. But has that been an improvement? Wolf leaves it to his audience to decide, after gently pushing us past any instinctual answers.
This is a small, carefully crafted film that tries hard to pierce the protective armor of a recluse known to be difficult and domineering. In the end, Stokes still remains slightly unknowable, as she’d undoubtedly prefer. Yet the documentary’s deep dive into her extraordinary archives, and the grainy video treasures it unearths, make for fascinating viewing.
[A] fascinatingly oddball story.