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One image says more than a thousand words and that one photograph of the filmmaker’s black grandfather leads to thousands of special stories. A cinematic ode to the black population of New York; about pride, tradition and the power of photography.
In The Photograph, the filmmaker leaves for New York to unravel the story behind that one photograph of his grandfather, Juan de Jesus. The subject is captured proud and dignified, like a real gentleman from 1920 AD. Important detail: Juan was a man of colour. And in the early 20th century, black people were rarely photographed this way. Except in the New York borough of Harlem, in James Van Der Zee’s photo studio. Hundred years later, Harlem is becoming increasingly gentrified and his work is still revolutionary. A tribute to the power of photography in general, to Van Der Zee’s pictures in particular and to the residents of this historic New York borough.