Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank is the subject of this rarely screened 2005 documentary, captured in intimate detail by filmmaker Gerald Fox. Shot in and around Frank’s homes and studios in New York and Nova Scotia, Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank offers unique insights into the life and career of the distinguished artist in his eightieth year.
Frank’s outsider perspective as an immigrant in the United States appears in his work, channelled through photographs of characters on the margins of representation. He is widely recognised for his photography book The Americans (1958) and unflinching depictions of 1950s America, featuring people and places depicted as they are, not as they are idealised.
While Frank states, ‘The pictures have to talk, not me’, Leaving Home, Coming Home turns the camera lens, positioning Frank as the subject. This candid portrait exposes the inherent power of the image, while exploring the painful personal tragedies that afflicted his life.
Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, 2005, Dir. Gerald Fox, UK, 86 mins