The Camera That Changed the World

Lambent Productions   |   UK

The Camera that Changed the World tells the story of how in the summer of 1960 the fly-on-the-wall documentary was born. It was the bloody-minded filmmakers and ingenious engineers who led this revolution by building the first hand-held cameras that followed real life as it happened. By amazing co-incidence, there were two separate groups of them - one on each side of the Atlantic. This remarkable story is told by the pioneers themselves, some of whom, such as DA Pennebaker and Al Maysles are now filmmaking legends. Back in 1960, they were determined young revolutionaries. The Camera that Changed the World highlights how the contrasting camera technologies produced effective and compelling 'reality' films. In the US, the pioneers used their new camera to make 'Primary', a insightful portrait of American politics. They followed a then little-known John F Kennedy as he began his long campaign for the presidency. Meanwhile, in France, another new camera was inspiring an influential experiment in documentary filmmaking. 'Chronique d'un Ete' captures the real lives of ordinary Parisians across the summer of 1960. Both these extraordinary films smashed existing conventions as handheld cameras followed the action across public spheres into intimate and previously hidden worlds.