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Martha: A Picture Story

(Rated M)

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"I was willing to do whatever it took. And it turned out it took a lot"

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Overview

An underground icon of '70s New York, intrepid photographer Martha Cooper captured some of the first vivid images of subway graffiti and became an unexpected champion of the city’s street life in the process. As the lone female intern at National Geographic and a staff photographer at the New York Post, she photographed everything from Japanese tattoos to the encroaching evils of gentrification, eventually publishing Subway Art, widely known as the “graffiti bible”, in 1984. More than thirty years later, Martha: A Picture Story sees Australian filmmaker Selina Miles follow the eternally curious trailblazer at the age of 75 as she rockets from Berlin to Baltimore and back again, splicing a rich collection of archival footage with her still-kinetic career in photojournalism — and shooting all the way.

Winner: Documentary Audience Award, Sydney Film Festival 2019
"Eighty of the happiest minutes documentary-lovers are likely to spend in a theater this year”
— The Hollywood Reporter

Why You Should See This Film

Combining Cooper’s exhilarating photos with colourful tales from the subjects that inspired them, this dynamic documentary celebrates one of the sharpest – and most underrated – eyes in contemporary photography. It’s a genuine thrill to observe our hero as she trespasses into Berlin’s U-Banh, revisits old friends and reckons with a dramatically changed visual culture, all while maintaining fierce dedication to her background in grassroots art activism.

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  • Year: 2019
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Selina Miles
  • Duration: 84 minutes
  • Language: English
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