See Know Evil

See Know Evil ★★★★

I’m honored to be one of the 6 members of the letterboxd cult who have reviewed this film.

I first came across Davide Sorrenti in my weekly  scour of the internet for essays and articles about creative minds. I guess I’m so hungry for creativity that I resort to reading about the chaotic and surreal lives of prolific artists. When I started reading about Sorrenti there was something inexplicable that sparked my infatuation with him; I think it was the energy that he exuded that made me stay up until 4am devouring every lil bit of his life I could dig up. He was an enigma, and right away he made me want to make art like CRAZY.

The outlook that Davide had on life because of his sickness is how I want to approach every day — he was so immersed in his youth because he lived with only slim chance that he would reach adulthood. Because he was living on borrowed time, Davide had such a profound  understanding of death, humanity, and adolescence.

You know that question they always ask on applications: if you could spend one day with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be? For me, I would spend the day with Davide because his aura penetrated the screen in this film. As someone who wants to be able to capture the essence of people on camera, I want to soak in his natural gift of just KNOWING what he wanted to create. Davide was eccentric, kind, thirsty for knowledge, he was able to capture REAL PEOPLE which is so rare in the world of fashion. His story was a tragic one, but a story that left me thinking a LOT about romance, legacy, art, and life philosophy.


This film portrayed Davide in the most intimate light: home videos interspersed with interviews of his skate group, his family, and those he spent time on set with. Seeing him through this lens made me realize that the conversation about Davide’s life NEEDS to be changed. I think that when photographers began to document their lives and their raw emotions, there was a backlash from traditional minds in fashion. Those stuck in the past claimed that this authenticity was glorifying drug use because it just wasn’t up to their glamorous, unrealistic standards. Davide is often viewed in a negative light for promoting drugs, yet he isn’t credited for his meaningful, gritty personal and commercial images that, although he could not see the impact of his work, paved the way for a new generation of young creatives. 


So I have an independent research paper in English and my teacher best be warned that I’m writing about Sorrenti, ‘heroin chic,’ and his stories of growing up, ambitious and in love, in New York in the 90s. Stay tuned.

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