Constance Rivière


June and October 2022

Portrait de Constance Rivière

François Bouchon / Le Figaro

  • Literature
  • Cities
  • Boston
  • New York
"Wiseman's America is that of the unseen, voices and faces erased by institutional power."

I met Frederick Wiseman 25 years ago, when he was 67 and I was 17. At the time, I dreamed of discovering America and working in film. He helped me find a family that I stayed with for two months as an au pair, taking time out to learn from him how to edit movies with scissors and glue to make sense of dozens of hours of footage. I came back to live in Boston to write a philosophy thesis on one of his films, Welfare, which was shot in the 1970s in a social welfare center in New York. Since then, I’ve been obsessed by his oeuvre – a one-of-kind fresco of America from 1967 to the present day, from east to west and north to south, from rural mountains to big-city shopping malls, from mixed-race New York neighborhoods to Monrovia, Indiana.


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