Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon

In his documentaries, Raymond Depardon analyzes, with independence, curiosity and compassion, the workings of society and its individual building blocks. He belongs to a group of photographers who brought a visual element to journalism in the mid-nineteenth century, changing forever our way of seeing the world; an erstwhile alien world, other ways of living that needed to be discovered on their own terms and conditions. A seasoned traveler, from early on in his career Depardon started combining his love of film with photography, developing his own unique and inimitable style in each medium. His first short films, made at the same time as he published his photo stories, already point to tension between fixed and moving pictures. Depardon knows full well that film in general, but especially the documentary, demands taking an ethical stance, because the camera can never be an impartial witness. By the same token, the people being filmed inevitably put on a performance for the camera. It is partly this awareness of the shortcomings of the medium that makes his films so interesting.