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Belfast, Maine

Directed by Frederick Wiseman
248 minutes
Unclassified 15+
Book Tickets
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All walks of life are vividly chronicled and honoured in Wiseman’s unvarnished and fascinating portrait of a small American town on the cusp of the 21st century.
A hypnotic portrait of a small New England coastal town compassionately observes ordinary lives. Lobstermen and tugboat crews go about their business. At the cannery, women snip the heads and tails off sardines with amazing dexterity and speed. In the dawn, a baker cuts doughnuts, while the glowing afternoon light provides inspiration for an artist. Laundry is folded, potatoes harvested. Fish are caught and processed and Willy Loman takes to the stage during rehearsals of Death of a Salesman. Attending to minutiae and never shying away from the ugly realities of small-town poverty, Wiseman reveals the relationships and routines that hold a community together. His lens sees everyone as an equally worthy subject.

Complement your in-cinema viewing of It Takes Time: Ten Films by Frederick Wiseman with a Wiseman Masterclass, hosted for a limited time on ACMI’s online platform, Cinema 3.
Belfast, Maine… conveys a deeply emotional sense of place, season and time of day. In contrasting the breathtaking landscape with the troubled lives of many of those living there, it reminds us that the fleeting beauties of the natural world – the simple pleasures available to all – are among life’s deepest consolations.
Stephen Holden, New York Times


Sat 18 Jun
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Wiseman Retrospective
Unclassified 15+
In English
Frederick Wiseman
Frederick Wiseman
John Davey
Frederick Wiseman
Documentary, Festival Award Winners, Cinephile, Retrospective
Company Credits
Sales Agent: Zipporah Films, Inc.
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