Henry Glassie: Field Work is more of an experience than a film really. An experience that is best described as an effort to translate somebody’s diary or travel log into the audio-visual form, it contains both their description of the world and their commentary on it, their thoughts and their beliefs, their views and their lessons too. The result is a film that is part documentary, part “slow cinema” and part wisdom-filled monologues. Throughout Henry Glassie’s journey, we explore alongside him, we see with his eyes, hear with his ears, and feel with his burning passion for everything that is folklore.
You witness these beautiful scenes of craftspeople in awe-inspiring passion but you hope for some context, some information, and after a while, you get plenty of it. Henry Glassie comes on during the second third of the film with his glorious wisdom and beautiful outlook on the world; he explores themes of differences and similarities between the many cultures he has visited, the human being as a social creature and a voluntary outcast, and the kindness and warmth the majority of the world possesses.
Henry Glassie: Field Work is definitely not for everyone. Some people might find it genius and some might think it’s dull and boring, but if you are interested in people as human beings and as artists, in the wonders everyday life holds, not necessarily here – here being where you are, but everywhere in the world then very few films capture the essence of these things as potently and as magnificently as this beautiful picture does.
‘Henry Glassie: Field Work’ WAS SCREENED AT THE 2019 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
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Henry Glassie: Field Work Trailer
DIRECTOR: Pat Collins
CAST: Henry Glassie, Pravina Shukla
LANGUAGE: English, Brazilan Portuguese
RUNTIME: 105 Minutes
LINKS: TIFF, IMDB