Bending the Light

Synopsis: From acclaimed director Michael Apted (The Up Series, Master of Sex, The World is Not Enough) comes a revealing look at the art of filmmaking and photography. A journey of glass, the documentary explores the relationship between the artisans who create camera lenses and the masters of light who use these lenses to capture their beloved art form.
Director(s): Michael Apted
60 min

(peaceful music)

- [Voiceover] My job is to make the lens.

It's the heart of the camera.

- [Voiceover] Do you take photographs?

- [Voiceover] Well, I have a child,

so I take lots of photographs of her.

- [Voiceover] Are there

any old pictures of you

that mean a lot?

- Yes.

I think it was probably taken

when I was in kindergarten.

I was in front of the gate

pole at my neighbor's house

that looks like a fence.

My feet got stuck between the fence

and I have a troubled expression.

This photo capture that moment very well.

- [Voiceover] Why are photos important?

- When I look at them later

on, I begin to reminisce.

I think that's very

important for individuals

and a society as well.

(background chatter)

- [Voiceover] Photography is

something that I do because

I'm looking for something

to understand about myself.

In Egypt, that very much is there.

- [Voiceover] Politics

seems to be at the heart

of your work.

- My grandfather was an

avid newspaper reader.

So I grew up kind of around

that and around my family

discussing politics on a

daily basis and you know,

their dreams and their

ambitions for the country.

I wanna understand my country.

I wanna understand where

I fall in that country.

Egyptians have always been

really really sentimental people.

They always love to talk about the past.

(exotic rhythmic music)

This is the essence of an idea

that I'm trying to do now.

It's a story about how

an entire population of

more than 85-million people

have always been struggling

to do something with their lives.

You know, really simple things

like have dignity and respect

and I think this is what has

always been lacking in Egypt

and this is why the revolution happened.

- [Voiceover] Is it just politics?

- [Laura] It's a social story

and it's a very human story

in its essence.

This is where the overlap of

politics and just an interest

in that comes from.

- [Voiceover] You seem

to spend a lot of time

away from the action, shooting faces.

- I want people in Egypt

to see the people of Egypt.

This is very important for me.

This is what I really care about.

(camera clicks)

(camera clicks)

(camera clicks)

(camera clicks)

(camera clicks)

(camera clicks)

My equipment is in that bag.

It's modest but it gets the job done.

So this is my living and working space.

So we're pretty much, you

know, I cook here and then

I work here and this is my magnetic wall

where I do my editing.

What I wanna say is something about

alienation and solitude

and feelings of people

trying to belong and feelings

of people that are abandoned

by a government or a

system and broken dreams

after the revolution.

It's about families who lost

somebody that was killed

or shot by police.

This is Reda when he was about 17.

He's been completely

blinded because he was shot

by police just off of Tahrir Square.

All he remembers is that

he looked up and he saw

a police officer and suddenly

he was thrust backwards.

He hasn't seen anything since.

He's 19 and pretty young but

he was engaged to be married

and his life has completely changed now.

She lost her son during

the revolution and she was

one of the people who were protesting

outside the trial for Mubarak

hoping that she would see

justice for her son's killers.

- [Voiceover] How did

you get into photography?

- I worked in America for

about 3-and-a-half years

as a newspaper photographer

doing everything that you do.

I was doing things that

were not very newspapery.

I didn't know I was pushing it

but my photo editor would say

"Laura, the readers are not

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Bending the Light" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <>.

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