Filmmaker Trisha Ziff talked about her film “The Man Who Saw Too Much,” a visual memoir of the work of Enrique Metinides, during a screening at Syracuse University on Thursday.
Certain things we would not see if someone didn’t photograph them, and while a lot of contemporary street photography deals in fashion style or lighter fare in our public spaces, famed shooter Enrique Metinides always kept it real as it relates to the raw, underside of death, crime and destruction in his native Mexico City.
Mentinides became a working photojournalist while still in grade school.
“The Man Who Saw Too Much,” a film about Metinides, was screened last night for the Human Rights Film Festival at Syracuse University. Filmmaker Trish Ziff was on hand to introduce the film and do a short Q+A afterwards.
In Mentinides’ work we see haunting visual echos of journalists such as W. Eugene Smith (war photos) or even shots from the NYC Municipal Archive.
One of the participants in the film called Metinides’ images a “birth of a bad memory.” Ziff herself hinted toward some sympathy for Metinides because she filmed him, now as an octogenarian, physically juxtaposing toys with his vintage crime scene photographs. You will have to see the film to make your own conclusion, but in many ways, playing with those toys may be Mentinides’ form of therapy for spending decades capturing the distress and calamity of his fellow citizens.
Ziff said her next project will be about Joel-Peter Witkin.