I Didn’t See You There

By C.J. Hirschfield

April 27, 2022

A monument to circus showman P.T. Barnum stands in Reid Davenport’s hometown of Bethel, Connecticut. “He got a pedestal,” says the director of I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, the new documentary at the 65th SFFILM Festival, while the disabled filmmaker’s perspective is from the sidewalk. The film, a meditative and personal feature that invites the viewer to see the world through his eyes—and at his level– often refers to the corrosive legacy of Barnum’s freak shows and how society relates to those who are different.

Continue reading

THE CREATIVE HIGH

By C.J. Hirschfield

In 2020, more people in San Francisco died of overdoses than of covid-19—an almost impossible statistic to comprehend.

So a film featuring people living in that city who are in recovery from addiction is timely and hopeful; what is unique is that all nine of them have had their lives dramatically transformed by the “alternative high” they achieve through art-making.

Continue reading

 IMPERFECT: Defying Expectations

By C.J. Hirschfield

If you’re producing a mainstage musical with a large cast, you can pretty much expect that there will be moments of anxiety, frustration, self-doubt—and even romance. In the excellent and thought-provoking new documentary IMPERFECT, all of this happens–and more. The more is because the particular production of Chicago-The Musical that the film documents features a diverse– and disabled– cast, whose physical and neurological challenges add a complex dimension to the work they so clearly love.

Continue reading