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Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, director of the acclaimed Paul Bowles documentary LET IT COME DOWN, trains her eye on another artist of uncompromising vision in her film THE TRUE MEANING OF PICTURES. For over 30 years, Shelby Lee Adams has been photographing the impoverished mountain dwellers of his native eastern Kentucky, earning critical acclaim for his stark black-and-white portraits of Appalachian life--from families who live without plumbing or electricity to Pentecostal sects whose members drink strychnine and handle rattlesnakes during religious ceremonies. But Adams' work has also garnered a fair share of controversy: critics charge that his photographs exploit their subjects, perpetuate stereotypes about the rural poor, or are sometimes staged by Adams for greater effect. Baichwal's provocative documentary examines these issues and raises complex moral questions about the very nature of art through interviews with Adams' admirers and detractors, samples of his extraordinary work, and foot...
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DirectorJennifer Baichwal
Release Date:  2002
MPAA Rating:  Unrated
DVD Release Date:  New Video Group, Inc. (November 25, 2003)
Runtime:  1hr 11min
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review by . September 04, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Hard Hitting, Fascinating     Cons: Sad, focuses on the harsh realities of rural living     The Bottom Line: Staged Photos or Realism? You decide - both arguments have merit. Well done, great subject matter.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. Shelby Lee Adams is a controversial photographer and seemingly a man on a mission!      This DVD times at 71 minutes and packs a …
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