Photographer Vivian Maier spent her last months on a park bench overlooking Lake Michigan, her secret life boxed up in storage units around Chicago. Her tens of thousands of negatives, 16mm films and voice recordings (not to mention newspaper clippings, receipts, unopened IRS refunds, blouses and hats) could easily have disappeared into obscurity if it weren’t for a young real estate agent and amateur local historian, John Maloof, who has a penchant for auctions and flea markets.
If you enjoy photography and the unpredictability of human existence you’ll enjoy Maloof’s film, Finding Vivian Maier. The documentary describes an eclectic journey to unearth the life and motivations of an eccentric subject, an artist who never sought to have her pictures displayed or published.
Maier seemed to have trouble making close human connections, but with her camera she was uncanny in creating intimacy with the widely diverse life on the streets of Chicago and New York.