Frederic Wiseman (United States)

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.

Filmography

  • 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

Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.