Meet The People

Shelly Silver

1986, 16:42 minutes, colour, English


Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, truth and artifice, Meet the People presents fourteen 'characters' who face the camera in talking head close-ups and speak about their lives and dreams. The intimacy and honesty of their fragmented, 'autobiographical' storytelling is illusory; the credits reveal that these people are professional actors, playing fictional roles, reading a script.

The work points to the complicity on the part of the viewer in his desire to believe and identify with the traditions of and characters on TV. The same television that mimics a perfected form of identity of the 'average person' is also in part responsible for creating this identity; it both researches, uses and manufactures this 'average person's' hopes and dreams. And so the question of the existence of a 'real' person becomes 'real' compared to what?

Dans le style de la vidéo-vérité, Silver mélange savamment c qui semble être des entrevues de 14 New-yorkais contemporains: un chauffeur, une serveuse, un travailleur italien de la construction, une femme de maison, une strip-teaseuse un officier noir de l'armée. Le générique de la fin nous révèle qu'ils sont tous des acteurs lisant vraisemblablement des dialogues écrit par Silver.

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