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Frederic Wiseman

United States / Website


Frederick Wiseman was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1930. Wiseman served in the U.S Military between 1954 and 1956. He also spent some time in Paris before returning to America and teaching Law at the Boston University’s Institute of Law and Medicine.

Despite initially training as a lawyer, Wiseman turned to documentary filmmaking very successfully. He has won numerous film awards, as well as Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships.

In 2003, Wiseman was awarded the Dan David Prize and in 2006, the George Polk Career Award, given annually by Long Island University to honour contributions to journalistic integrity and investigative reporting.

The institutions that Wiseman examined early in his career – a hospital, a high school, army basic training, a welfare centre, a police precinct – have “problems” that the filmmaker uncovers. His approach reveals the profound acknowledged and unacknowledged conformity and inequality of American society.

Wiseman’s films are also a reflection on democracy. His films portray the “American dream” and the “air conditioned nightmare” questioning the world and human existence.

Over the years his films have become more a skilful mix of observation, testimony, reflection, an absence of prejudice, and courage, and humour. A complex body of work, as great works of fiction (novels, drama, music, and film) can be, with the same profundity, contradictions, and questions without answers.


Titicut Follies (84´, USA, 1967)
High School (75´, USA, 1968)
Law and Order (81´, USA, 1969)
Hospital (84´, USA, 1970)
Basic Training (80´, USA, 1971)
Essene (86´, USA, 1972)
Juvenile Court (144´, USA, 1973)
Primate (105´, USA, 1974)
Welfare (167´, USA, 1975)
Meat (112´, USA, 1976)
Canal Zone (174´, USA, 1977)
Sinai Field Mission (127´, USA, 1978)
Manoeuvre (115´, USA, 1979)
Seraphita's Diary (90´, USA, 1980)
Model (129´, USA, 1980)
The Store (118´, USA, 1983)
Racetrack (114´, USA, 1985)
Multi-Handicapped (126´, USA, 1986)
Deaf (164´, USA, 1986)
Adjustment and Work (120´, USA, 1986)
Missile (115´, USA, 1987)
Blind (132´, USA, 1987)
Central Park (176´, USA, 1989)
Near Death (358´, USA, 1989)
Aspen (146´, USA, 1991)
Zoo (130´, USA, 1993)
Ballet (170´, USA, 1995)
La Comédie-Française ou L'amour joué (223´, USA, 1996)
Public Housing (200´, USA, 1997)
Belfast, Maine (245´, USA, 1999)
Domestic Violence (196´, USA, 2001)
La dernière lettre/ The Last Letter (61´, USA/France, 2002)
State Legislature (217´, USA, 2007)
La danse - Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris (159´, France/USA, 2009)
Boxing Gym (91´, USA, 2010)
Crazy Horse (134', USA/France, 2011)
At Berkeley (244', USA, 2013)


Haiku - Frederic Wiseman

Haiku - Frederic Wiseman (Orig.) / United States / 1 min





“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.

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- 16.1.2017 -

Charter 77

Charter 77

We commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Charter 77 by presenting documentary profiles of the signatories to this important initiative of anti-communist resistance. Learn more about the context of this historical event by means of an authentic film experience.

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- 10.1.2017 -

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

A bonus subscription to DAFilms.com is a present you will never get tired of thanks to its diversity. You can get it for your close ones or just for yourself.

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- 14.12.2016 -

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