The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger ★★★★

Impressionistic portraits of John Berger. It's the sort of documentary that gives you the flavor of the subject, not the substance. I see his love of people, animals, the country, thinking, drawing, life. He moved to a small village in the French Alps to learn from the peasants their way of looking. Someone in the film mentions that a father's way of looking at the landscape is different - they see the work put into it. Near cities I k through the capitalistic lens of real estate values. That farmers see the land sentimentally was a point made in a recent Telugu film as well. I love that my family has farm land. I tell everyone that we have mango orchards. I tell them how they produce the most delicious mangoes in the summer. I'm proud that my family came from the earth. But I cannot have the same relationship to the land that my grandfather, who has farmed our land for forty or fifty years has. This small point of Berger's, one that he upended his life to learn, gives us a picture of his humility, his willingness to learn from others, and to see things their own way. He believes in the dignity of each person having their own viewpoint and in the possibility of us looking through those of others. I have described myself as a lens collector in the past, but I mostly look for academic literary or political lenses. These are the lenses of authorities, not those of regular people. And if you can't respect or learn from regular people, then you've lost touch with humanity.

A few breathtaking shots. I now really need to read his books. An unexpected connection with Tilda Swinton.