Documentary, Short Films, 16-May-2022
A poetic essay film portraying Baltimore in a moment of reckoning, shown uniquely through humble observations and personal recollections. “Diary,” directed by Gillian Waldo, tracks the summer of 2020 with its nationwide cataclysms revolving around Covid-19 and police brutality. The film is presented without voiceover or interviews but manages a keen perspective and tone of voice with contemplative visuals and measured pacing. Filmed on 16mm, we witness passing trains and garbage trucks — at first noting the deserted spaces, the playgrounds and pools that remain empty. And then a subtle shift begins: we see political yard signs and hear radio broadcasts of a heated mayoral race, and a turtle crawls over a copy of the NY Times that proclaims 100,000 U.S. deaths from the virus. And then people gather in the streets to protest the most recent killings of black citizens by police officers. Waldo’s previous film, “I Know What I Saw,” was a cross country travelogue through rodeos, deserts, and motels. Here, she stays put in her home city of Baltimore, but maintains a traveller’s eye, a curiosity for landscapes and stories behind the stories. -KA. Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Gillian Waldo. Producer: Tomi Faison. Sound Mix: Chester Gwazda. Production Assistance: Lydia Milano.