Chain Camera
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Wanting to make a film about American teenagers in the year 2000, filmmaker Kirby Dick took a novel approach; he went to John Marshall High School, a Los Angeles-area school with a racially and economically diverse student body, and gave ten portable video cameras to ten students, asking them to document their lives however they pleased for one week. Then each student passed his or her camera on to another student, who was to film his or herself in the same manner. This process continued throughout the course of the school year, after which Dick and editor Matt Clarke reviewed the footage,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Absorbing in places, but considering the large and diverse pool the filmmakers had to draw from, it's a surprisingly repetitive and predictable collection of big-city sagas."
‑ John Petrakis, Chicago Tribune
"Chain Camera may not provide a demographer's perfect cross-section of society, but it does provide a pungent, provocative slice of Americana."
‑ Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
"Dick unearths some meaningful, disturbing and disarming material."
‑ Kim Morgan, Oregonian
"... a riveting, hopeful and heartbreaking film."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"A candid, compelling documentary."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Chain Camera is, at the very least, unfailingly candid."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"On the whole, Chain Camera surprises in how it manages to mix entertainment and personal journeys."
‑ Rachel Gordon,
"A series of brief snapshots of frustratingly varied doesn't get much beneath the surface."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"... fresh and revealing ..."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Kirby Dick isn't in the habit of making his presence felt on camera, and his newest documentary allows his subjects to strictly speak for themselves."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Kirby's egalitarian impulses get the best of him as he devotes time pretty evenly to each student regardless of how interesting they are individually."
‑ George Wu,
More reviews for Chain Camera on Rotten Tomatoes