Expired April 16, 2021 4:00 AM
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On the surface, Shared Resources is, as it announces, a film about debt. It’s a film about filmmaker Jordan Lord’s parents’ bankruptcy, the physical and psychological repercussions of restructuring after multiple crises, and how precarity affects even middle-class families in the U.S. The brilliance of the film, however, is its reframing of every aspect of the frame, which emphasizes its reframing of the notion of debt: what are the structures and apparatuses that encourage debt? That encourage unequal power dynamics within documentary filmmaking? For a rapacious rich, moneyed class and nameless institutions over wage workers? Over the course of several years, Lord travels back to their parents’ home in Mississippi to explore the iterative process of collaboration and what drives surface-level consideration of ethics in documentary storytelling with a subject as personal and vulnerable as this one.

Central to Shared Resources’ techniques is a reconsideration of the potential of audio descriptions and captions as essential to the finished film. The audio descriptions are in the form of each family member’s Rouchean recollections of the original filmed scene, recorded while watching an earlier cut of the film. The captions also become crucial with different font colors differentiating between “on-screen” and “off-screen” discursive spaces. These approaches help the timeline of this film stretch and compress, addressing events far back in the past, like the remnants of the Vietnam War, as well as hopes for the future. There are scenes that reveal and contest accepted conventions of documentary filmmaking (image releases, the assumption of risk). These many elements are handled deftly and assuredly, never overcrowding the film while also avoiding overly-neat conclusions. Shared Resources is an accomplished, moving film, marking the debut of a documentary voice and ethos that we hope to return to again and again. (AS)

  • Year
  • Runtime
    100 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Note
    The film is in English with captioning and audio description.
  • Director
    Jordan Lord
  • Cinematographer
    Jordan Lord