'MOTHER is a brilliantly sensitive film which interweaves the impossible choices that two families must make when economic necessities meet the scourge of dementia.
Asking us to look at both the intimate challenges as well as the global ones, the film opens ways of thinking about what a mother’s role is, questions
what we owe our children and our mothers, and most profoundly, asks how we can face life’s most painful conundrums with dignity.
Filmed in an exquisitely attentive observational approach, MOTHER’s exceptional cinematography reveals the devastatingly trickster ways in which dementia transforms a person and emotionally impacts those who care for such people.
A film full of unforgettable portraits of those who are navigating the most profound challenges,
MOTHER is a haunting and gorgeous meditation.'
Kirsten Johnson has worked as both documentary cinematographer and director committing herself to human rights issues and visual creativity. She is the principal cinematographer on over 40 feature-length documentaries and has been credited on countless others. The feature documentary memoir "CAMERAPERSON" (2016) won numerous international awards and her latest feature documentary "Dick Johnson is Dead" had its world-premiere in US Documentary Competition at Sundance Film Festival 2020 and was awarded the "Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling".
After graduating from Brown University in 1987 with a BA in Fine Arts and Literature she travelled to Senegal to study with acclaimed filmmakers Djibril Diop Mambety and Ousmane Sembene. The experience inspired her to apply to the French National Film School (La Femis), where she began to study cinematography. While in La Femis she began to shoot the documentary Derrida, with directors Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick the earliest of Johnson’s work to appear in Cameraperson.
After graduating from La Femis she went on to shoot a number of highly-acclaimed and award-winning documentaries including “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” “Fahrenheit 9/11” “This Film is Not Yet Rated” and “The Invisible War.”
She has a longstanding collaboration with Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, credited as cinematographer for “The Oath,” “Citizenfour,” the upcoming "Asylum." Additionally, she shot footage that appeared in Poitras' visual exhibition on surveillance, which opened at the Whitney Museum in spring 2016.
When not shooting she teaches the class in “Visual Thinking” at the NYU Graduate Journalism Department, a course in cinematography at SVA, and often leads workshops for young camerapeople and documentarians under the auspices of the Arab Art and Culture Fund in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.