Portraits of America: Two Films by Natalie Bookchin

Natalie Bookchin, Guggenheim and MacArthur Grantee, is an artist and filmmaker who, through virtuosic editing and innovative sonic and visual montage, interrogates the American crisis and its increased inequality and polarization as well as the seismic impact of the digital tools and platforms that determine the shape and texture of contemporary life. Her critically acclaimed films and installations have shown around the world at museums, galleries, theaters, and festivals, including at the Pompidou Centre, the Whitney Museum, and the Tate.

Collected in PORTRAITS OF AMERICA: TWO FILMS BY NATALIE BOOKCHIN are two of her most renowned works.


The astonishing LONG STORY SHORT conjures a dizzying multiplicity of frames and voices. Featuring deeply moving, unadorned testimony from over 100 people facing poverty in America, interviews are woven together to create a rich and insightful collective account of urban American poverty told from the inside.

"An incredible work of montage on the collective power of speech." Cinéma du Réel
"As pertinent as it is original." Telerama

 Grand Prize, Cinema du Reel Film Festival
 Documentary Fortnight, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
 RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival


A riveting account of an unnamed man whose racial identity is repeatedly redrawn and contested by masses of impassioned vloggers. This intricately edited, deeply political film explores our new social landscape, one where cascades of disinformation, rumors, and insinuations spread wildly across electronic networks.

"An absolutely staggering work of art ... A stunning reflection of a society that is grappling with the notion of African American men as threats; that there might be places where they should and shouldn't be."  —Los Angeles Times
"Inventive and revealing."  —New York Times 

 Special Mention, 2017 Cinema du Reel

Ways to Watch


Home use DVD for $29.98


Includes a 24-page booklet featuring interviews with the director by media critics Geert Lovink and Angela Maiello and an essay by art historian Blake Stimson.


Over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, and job training centers discuss their experiences of poverty.

Natalie Bookchin | 2016 | 45 minutes | Color | English | Closed Captioned

Online videos diaries are stitched together into a dense, polyphonic essay on race and identity.

Natalie Bookchin | 2017 | 24 minutes | Color | English | Closed Captioned