The Man Who Fell From The Sky

Minnion, Lizzie (2021) The Man Who Fell From The Sky. [Film / Video]

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Abstract

There are two recurring themes in Lizzie Minnion’s editing work. Firstly, they’re often films about people who are overlooked or underrepresented. Secondly, they regularly acknowledge the agenda of the filmmaker and the constructed nature of a documentary. The Man Who Fell From the Sky (C4/Postcard), broadcast in January 2021, is no different. Filmmaker Rich Bentley is on a mission to uncover the story of Carlito and Themba, who stowed away in the wheel well of a plane from South Africa to Heathrow in 2015. Carlito tragically died on landing, but Themba, miraculously, survived, and then completely disappeared from the public eye. This terrifying journey is revealed through expository news archive, shining a light on how a shocking and tragic headline quickly becomes yesterday’s news. As Rich decides to investigate the human impact behind these headlines, the self-reflexive editing style focuses on the filmmaker’s dilemmas and decisions - posing questions about the relationship between filmmaker and subject, as well as exploring the ethics of documentary itself. A montage of emails and phone calls highlights the banal reality of investigative filmmaking whilst maintaining dramatic effect as the visuals shift from Rich’s office to his home as this mission takes over his life. Epic slow-motion images of enormous planes through suburban curtains intercut the actuality - a metaphor for how distanced we are to the extreme hardships going on in other parts of the world. What begins as a story both of loss and mystery becomes one of hope, as Rich finally meets Themba – who now goes by the name of Justin, and hears his story first hand. Working with longstanding collaborators Richard Bentley and Sam Forsdike, this film took Lizzie over four years to edit and is an example of a creative team using their western privilege to uncover a vital story about the plight of immigrants searching for a better life.

Item Type: Film / Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immigration; stowaway; documentary; film editing
Related URLs:
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Industries > Film and Television
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Lizzie Minnion
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 08:56
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 08:56
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/9588

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