Finding Vivian Maier

(USA 2014)

I had never heard of Vivian Maier. A kooky lady, she was a spinster who bounced around Chicago’s North Shore working as a nanny. Maier was a pack rat and a closet street photographer who took tens of thousands of photos, mostly between the Fifties and Seventies– and apparently filed them away. She died broke and unknown in 2009. A trove of photos and rolls of undeveloped film she shot and left behind was accidentally (or serendipitously) discovered just before being discarded from a storage locker.

The film starts off with her work, which is actually pretty cool. You can see it here:

Next, it explores the artist’s identity through the eyes of those who knew her, mainly her employers and the children she was charged to watch. An unusual and dark character emerges. Very interesting. Maier will forever remain a mystery, but her work speaks for itself.

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