Upstairs, the samples of earlier work manage to achieve the unhappy balance of seeming both facile and obscure, with a tedious insistence on poking sexuality into every orifice, even those where it doesn't belong. Does a photograph of some spray painted pubes really complete an exhibit of photographs of gardens owned by slave merchants, and mirrors engraved with old press cuttings of slave auctions?
Luckily this film captivated me within a few seconds, such was its beauty. It's a cliché to say that each frame could be a work of art in itself, but the photos outside testified to its truth in this case. Each shot, whether of mouldering books in dusty courtrooms or houses filled with ruined furniture slowly collapsing, was ravishingly beautiful. When I went to see it a second time, an entire class of 5-year-olds sat transfixed throughout its entire 30 minutes runtime, without making a peep. Credit has to go to the cinematographer for composing such beautiful shots, as well as moving the camera so precisely, slowly, and gracefully.