Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson

Known For: Camera · Birthday: 1965-10-12 (55 years old) · Gender: Female · Place of Birth: Seattle, Washington, USA

76 Movies · 4 TV shows

Also Known As: Керстен Джонсон

Biography

Kirsten Johnson (born 1965) is an American documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. She is mostly known for her camera work on several well-known feature-length documentaries such as Citizenfour and The Oath. In 2016, she released Cameraperson, a film which consists of various pieces of footage from her decades of work all over the world as a documentary cinematographer. Directed by Johnson herself, Cameraperson went on to be praised for its handling of themes about documentary ethics interwoven with Johnson's personal reflection on her experiences. Movies that Johnson has either filmed or directed have received numerous nominations and awards over the years, and she is now a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Personal Life

Johnson is based in Manhattan where she is an adjunct professor at New York University. Her brother, Kirk Johnson, is the Sant Director of Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.Johnson co-parents her twins with a married couple, painter Boris Torres and filmmaker Ira Sachs. She, Sachs, and Torres were in similar social circles, became friends, and decided to have the experience of parenting together. They now live in neighboring apartments in Manhattan, and split the twins' time equally between both parties.

Early Life

Johnson was raised in Wyoming, with a very religious family who placed restrictions on her access to film and television. She had no exposure to the medium until she attended university.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 Movie
Arctic Summer

Arctic Summer

2021
Tuktoyaktuk is an Indigenous community in the northern part of the country. During one of the last summers before climate change forced Tuk's coastal population to relocate to more habitable land, the...

2020.

3 Movies
Dick Johnson Is Dead

Dick Johnson Is Dead

2020
The director is trying to find a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive. She celebrates Dr with moviemaking magic and dark humor. Dick Johnson staged fantasies of death and beyond in his last years....
On the Record

On the Record

2020
The haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul R...
Mother

Mother

2020
In a village in Thailand, Pomm works in a care center for Europeans with Alzheimer's. While she is separated from her children, she helps Elisabeth during the final stages of her life, as Maya, a new ...

2019.

2 Movies
Elliott Erwitt - Silence Sounds Good

Elliott Erwitt - Silence Sounds Good

2019
Elliott Erwitt has spent his entire adult life taking photographs, of presidents, popes and movie stars, as well as regular people and their pets. His work is iconic in world culture while his life is...
Museum Town

Museum Town

2019
A rural American town suffering economically from factory closings finds an unconventional route to recovery with the help of MASS MoCA.

2018.

4 Movies
A Thousand Thoughts

A Thousand Thoughts

2018
Filmmaker Sam Green (The Weather Underground), in collaboration with writer and editor Joe Bini (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Grizzly Man), takes the stage with the legendary classical-music gr...
Brooklyn Inshallah

Brooklyn Inshallah

2018
Khader El-Yateem, an Arab American Pastor from Palestine, and Linda Sarsour, organizer of the Women's March on Washington, come together in the wake of President Trump's anti-Muslim policies. With Sar...
Crime + Punishment

Crime + Punishment

2018
Over four years of unprecedented access, the story of a brave group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and one unrelenting private investigator who, amidst a landmark lawsuit, risk everything to e...
Cradle of Champions

Cradle of Champions

2
2018
Three extraordinary young people battle to change their lives through the three-month odyssey of the New York Daily News Golden Gloves - the biggest, oldest, most important amateur boxing tournament i...

2017.

5 Movies · 1 TV show
Betting on Zero

Betting on Zero

8
2017
Controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history while Herbalife execs claim Ackman is a market manipula...
32 Pills: My Sister's Suicide

32 Pills: My Sister's Suicide

2017
Traces the life and mental illness of New York artist and photographer Ruth Litoff, and her sister's struggle to come to terms with her tragic suicide.
Risk

Risk

5.29
2017
A documentary portrait of power, betrayal, truth and sacrifice is what Laura Poitras finds herself caught between when she captures the story of the founder of WikiLeaks.
Atomic Homefront

Atomic Homefront

2017
St. Louis, Missouri's atomic past as a processing center for the atomic bomb led to the illegal dumping of Manhattan Project radioactive waste throughout North County neighborhoods.
TV
Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge

Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge

2017
A chronicle of the last 50 years of American music, politics and popular culture can be found through the perspective of Rolling Stone magazine. An exhilarating visual and musical experience of the ma...

2016.

5 Movies
The Joy of Extreme Possibility

The Joy of Extreme Possibility

2016
Work in progress.
A Thousand Mothers

A Thousand Mothers

2016
Set at an ancient nunnery above the majestic Irrawaddy River, A THOUSAND MOTHERS is an unprecedented look at the lives of Buddhist nuns in Sagaing, Myanmar.
Trapped

Trapped

2016
Clinics in the US have taken their fight to the courts against TRAP laws, which were passed by conservative state legislatures. Follow the struggles of the clinic workers and lawyers who are on the fr...
Audrie & Daisy

Audrie & Daisy

2016
The stories of two American high school students, Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman, are included in a documentary film about three cases of rape. At the time of the sexual assaults, Pott and Coleman were...
Cameraperson

Cameraperson

2016
As a visually radical memoir, CAMERAPERSON draws on the remarkable footage that filmmakers have shot and uses it to illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her. What emerges is...

2015.

5 Movies · 1 TV show
A Woman Like Me

A Woman Like Me

5.17
2015
The real story of director Alex Sichel, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, is interwoven with the fictional story of Anna Seashell, who was also diagnosed with breast cancer. The film follo...
The Above

The Above

2015
A U.S. military surveillance balloon floats on a tether high above Kabul, Afghanistan. Its capacities are both highly classified and deeply mysterious.
TV
Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter

Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter

2015
Some of this year's most talked about talent open up about the challenges and triumphs of creating critically acclaimed series and performances.
Buffalo Returns

Buffalo Returns

2015
Native American Natural Foods is one of the only private enterprises on the Pine Ridge Reservation. When their new energy bar gains national distribution, it gives new hope to a struggling community.
Very Semi-Serious

Very Semi-Serious

2015
The New Yorker is the benchmark for the single-panel cartoon. This light-hearted and sometimes poignant look at the art and humor of the iconic drawings shows why they have inspired and even baffled u...
The Armor of Light

The Armor of Light

2015
The journey of an evangelical minister trying to preach about gun violence. Reverend Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, questioned whether being pro-gun was...

2014.

6 Movies
Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

2014
Born to Fly pushes the boundaries between action and art, daring us to join choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her dancers in pursuit of human flight.
That Film About Money

That Film About Money

2014
What is the real value of a dollar? You think that a dollar bill is money and that banks are where your cash is stored and safeguarded. Well, you’re wrong. Like, really wrong.
Happy Valley

Happy Valley

2014
The children of "Happy Valley" were victimized for years, by a key member of the legendary Penn State college football program. But were Jerry Sandusky’s crimes an open secret? With rare access, direc...
1971

1971

2014
Forty years before WikiLeaks and the NSA scandal, there was Media, Pennsylvania. In 1971, eight activists plotted an intricate break-in to the local FBI offices to leak stolen documents and expose the...
The Wound and the Gift

The Wound and the Gift

2014
The Gift is a feature-length film exploring a major transformation in peoples' relationships with animals.
Citizenfour

Citizenfour

6
2014
Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald traveled to Hong Kong for the first time to meet Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her.

2013.

3 Movies
Seeds of Time

Seeds of Time

2013
Cary Fowler's journey to save the foundation of our food supply in a new era of climate change is the subject of Seeds of Time.
ANNIE: It's the Hard-Knock Life, from Script to Stage

ANNIE: It's the Hard-Knock Life, from Script to Stage

2013
Documentary - The documentary directed by Joshua Seftel follows the revival production of the Broadway musical including casting, rehearsals, and opening night. - Andy Blankenbuehler, Lilla Crawford...
Fatal Assistance

Fatal Assistance

2013
Haitian born filmmaker Raoul Peck takes us on a 2-year journey inside the challenging, contradictory and colossal rebuilding efforts in post-earthquake Haiti.

2012.

5 Movies
Here One Day

Here One Day

2012
When filmmaker Kathy Leichter moved back into her childhood home after her mother's suicide, she discovered a hidden box of audiotapes. Sixteen years passed before she had the courage to delve into th...
The Invisible War

The Invisible War

2012
The epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences are the subject of an investigat...
Virgin Tales

Virgin Tales

2012
Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity. As a counter-movement of the attitudes and practices of today's culture, one in six girls in the US has vowed to remain...
A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table

5
2012
The film shows the plight of 49 million Americans who don't have enough to eat. A single mother, a small-town policeman and a farmer are some of the people who put food on the table.
The Program

The Program

2012
Filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans' personal data.

2011.

3 Movies
The War We Are Living

The War We Are Living

2011
Two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women fight to hold onto their gold-rich land and defy paramilitary death threats in the remote mountains of Colombia. Part of the PBS series Women, War & Peace.
I Came to Testify

I Came to Testify

2011
Sixteen women who had been imprisoned and raped by Serb-led forces in Foca, Bosnia, testify in an international court of law.
Yelling To The Sky

Yelling To The Sky

5.8
2011
A seventeen year old girl is left to fend for herself in a neighborhood where her survival is uncertain as her family falls apart.

2010.

3 Movies
The Oath

The Oath

2010
Tells the story of two men, Abu Jandal and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U...
No Woman, No Cry

No Woman, No Cry

2010
Pregnancy is a death sentence for more than half a million women every year, but their deaths would be preventable if they could obtain the health care they needed. This documentary focuses on the per...
The Edge of Joy

The Edge of Joy

2010
The Edge of Joy follows an ensemble cast of Nigerian doctors, midwives and religious leaders as they battle the world's highest maternal mortality rate.

2009.

2 Movies
Outrage

Outrage

6
2009
An indictment of politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation.
Waiting for Mercy: The Case Against Mohammed Hossain and Yassin Aref

Waiting for Mercy: The Case Against Mohammed Hossain and Yassin Aref

2009
This documentary tells the story of an FBI sting that took place in Albany in 2004. The idea was to entrap Yassin Aref, 37 and Mohammed Hossain, 51. In 2006, the two men were sentenced to 15 years in ...

2008.

3 Movies
Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

2008
Pray the Devil Back to Hell chronicles the remarkable story of the Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country.
Lioness

Lioness

2008
The story of the first women in the US. It will be sent into ground combat.
Throw Down Your Heart

Throw Down Your Heart

2008
A film crew follows a well-known banjo player on his travels to Africa, where he learns about the instrument's origins.

2007.

7 Movies
Captain Mike Across America

Captain Mike Across America

2007
During the 2004 presidential election, Michael Moore set off on a 60 city tour (mostly colleges), making stops in the 20 battleground states, to help raise voting awareness.
How Much Is Your Life Worth?

How Much Is Your Life Worth?

2007
Documentary looking at the work of the attorneys and adjusters involved in cases of wrongful death, a moving and enlightening story of how tragedy and injustice are computed and integrated into financ...
Small Steps: Creating the High School for Contemporary Arts

Small Steps: Creating the High School for Contemporary Arts

2007
This film follows students, staff and parents through the first four years of the High School for Contemporary Arts, an experimental "small school" housed within one of the most dangerous schools in t...
Crime Fiction

Crime Fiction

2007
Will you kill for a good story? If you are James Cooper, a 28 year old copy editor with dreams of literary stardom, you will. After all, your girlfriend was just crowned the "voice of a new America" b...
Darfur Now

Darfur Now

2007
The story of six people who are determined to end the sufferings in Sudan's war-torn Darfur is told in this acclaimed documentary. An American activist, an international prosecutor, a Sudanese rebel, ...
Slacker Uprising

Slacker Uprising

2007
Michael Moore encouraged young people to vote.
Election Day

Election Day

2007
Forget the pie charts, color-coded maps and pundits. In a triumph of documentary storytelling, ELECTION DAY combines eleven stories--all shot simultaneously on November 2, 2004, from dawn until long p...

2006.

2 Movies
This Film Is Not Yet Rated

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

8
2006
Kirby Dick's provocative documentary investigates the secretive and inconsistent process by which the Motion Picture Association of America rates films, revealing the organization's underhanded effort...
Welcome Back to the Barrio

Welcome Back to the Barrio

2006
A film that chronicles a young mans return to the streets where he grew up and the events that unfold after he reunites with a childhood friend.

2004.

3 Movies
Ladies First

Ladies First

2004
In the new Rwanda, women are at the forefront of change; transforming the country from the ground up and planning for a peaceful future.
Fahrenheit 9/11

Fahrenheit 9/11

8
2004
The Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event of September 11 to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Deadline

Deadline

2004
In 2000, Illinois Gov. George Ryan ordered a moratorium on the death penalty after university students uncovered new evidence proving the innocence of 13 men on death row. This documentary follows the...

2003.

4 Movies
A Decade Under the Influence

A Decade Under the Influence

2003
A documentary looks at the decade of the 1970s as a turning point in American cinema. The influential directors of that time were interviewed by some of today's best filmmakers.
Rokia: Voice of a New Generation

Rokia: Voice of a New Generation

2003
Documentary about the life and career of Rokia Traoré, a musician from Mali, an African country, who is one of the few women in her country, perhaps the only one, who manages to have a career in music...
Risk/Reward

Risk/Reward

2003
A 2003 documentary film about women on Wall Street following the lives of four Wall Street women - a research analyst, a currency trader, an NYSE floor broker and a rookie investment banker.
Asylum

Asylum

2003
Baba, a young Ghanaian woman, goes in search of her father for his blessing on her impending marriage. This turns to a nightmare as he insists she a different man, and that she undergo female genital ...

2002.

2 Movies · 2 TV shows
Derrida

Derrida

2002
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher and author of deconstructionism.
Two Towns of Jasper

Two Towns of Jasper

2002
Using two separate filmmaking teams (an all-white crew filming white residents and an all-black camera crew filming black residents), TWO TOWNS OF JASPER captures very different racial views by townsf...
TV
Wide Angle

Wide Angle

2002
The series was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York and was broadcast on PBS. The last host of the weekly one-hour series was a veteran journalist. Wide angle began broadcasting on PBS in 2002 to expand...

2001.

5 Movies
Brother Born Again

Brother Born Again

2001
Filmmaker Julia Pimsleur used to make up elaborate lies about her brother Marc, rather than explain that he had dropped out of college, turned his back on his Jewish heritage and moved to a Christian ...
Journey to the West: Chinese Medicine Today

Journey to the West: Chinese Medicine Today

2001
Journey To The West is a contemporary exploration of the ways in which Chinese medicine - including acupuncture and herbal remedies - is being practiced today.
Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle

Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle

2001
There is a documentary about the effects of globalization on Haiti.
Trembling Before G-d

Trembling Before G-d

6
2001
A portrait of various gay Orthodox Jews who struggle to reconcile their faith and their sexual orientation.
Perpetua 664

Perpetua 664

2001
Six years after I left my country, Brazil, I was sent an old sound reel in the post and I discovered a recording of my parent's wedding ceremony. I was twenty-six. It was the first time I'd ever heard...

1999.

1 Movie
Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

1999
James Forman, a 31-year-old public defender and son of a civil rights leader, provides representation for black youth in Washington, D.C., who can't afford their own attorneys in this riveting documen...

1995.

1 Movie
Bintou in Paris

Bintou in Paris

1995
A "fictional documentary" concerning the volatile topic of female excision, Bintou In Paris tells the story of a young Malinese mother faced with the critical decision of whether or not to excise her ...

1994.

1 Movie
Il faut que je l'aime

Il faut que je l'aime

1994
A young woman named Juliette is faced with a series of confrontations that she hears as those close to her discuss matters directly affecting Juliette offscreen.
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