Meet the People

1986, 16:32 min, color, sound

Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, truth and artifice, Meet the People presents fourteen "characters" who face the camera in "talking head" close-ups and speak about their lives and dreams. The intimacy and honesty of their fragmented, "autobiographical" storytelling is illusory; the credits reveal that these people are professional actors, playing fictional roles, reading a script. As Silver writes, "This work points to a complicity on the part of the viewer in his desire to believe and identify with the traditions of and characters on TV. The same television that mimics a perfected form of the identity of the 'average person' is also in part responsible for creating this identity; it both researches, uses and manufactures this 'average person's' hopes and dreams. And so the question of a 'real person' becomes 'real compared to what?'"

With: Carol Weinstein, Gahan Haskins, Lisa Wo, Peter Onorati, Leila Kenzle, Lloyd T. Williams, Jeremiah Bosgang, Camille Marshall, Kurt Erickson, Maureen Curtini, Annie Rae Etheridge, Brenda Lynn Bynum, Elizabeth Rose, Rita Perrault. Writer/Director: Shelly Silver. Director of Photography: John Kraus.

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1986-90, 32 min, color, sound