Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019, Matt Wolf)

“She was extremely fearful that america would replicate nazi Germany,” so these things come in cycles. Marion started recording the news during the late ’79 Iran hostage crisis, didn’t stop until her death in 2012, and this doc was made years later so we get interviews (with her two families and the nurse and chauffeur) and re-enactments. Most of the tape footage shown is news highlights of major events, not necessarily something you’d need a comprehensive archive for, but a couple of obscure gems are thrown in. Centerpiece of the doc is a split-screen of four networks in real-time watching the WTC disaster. Marion produced a talk TV show in Philly – her favorite topic was the open exchange of ideas, though at home she was extremely controlling. Guess it’s hard to fit the life of a complicated person and 30+ years of news coverage into ninety minutes, but I look forward to the projects that’ll come out using the digital archive of her tapes.

Choice footage of this guy getting scolded for being racist:

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