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Rachel Dretzin: How I learned the power of the documentary filmmaker (and how to wield it responsibly)

Rachel Dretzin. Photo © Meredith Zinner Photography

Rachel Dretzin. Photo © Meredith Zinner Photography

by Rachel Dretzin

My latest film, Far From the Tree, is … ultimately an uplifting story about loving what you have right in front of you, even if it’s the last thing you thought you wanted – but the road to acceptance isn’t easy. To make the film, I spent the better part of two years following five families through some of the most painful and intimate moments of their lives.

Building trust with the families wasn’t difficult. Feeling I had really earned their trust was. I made a promise to myself when I started the film that I wouldn’t push any of my characters to go further than they were comfortable, and that I would not compromise their dignity under any circumstances. … However, … [m]y assumptions about what might be comfortable or uncomfortable for them, compromising or uncompromising, was necessarily conditioned by my outsider perspective.

(To read the rest of the article, please visit Talkhouse.)