One Cut, One Life

This extremely personal and moving documentary has several layers...pulses with an almost ecstatic vitality.


One Cut, One Life

When seminal documentary filmmaker Ed Pincus (Black Natchez, The Axe in the Attic), considered the father of first-person nonfiction film, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he and his collaborator Lucia Small (My Father, The Genius, The Axe in the Attic) team up to make one last film. One Cut, One Life is an intense, unflinchingly honest, and sometimes humorous exploration of the human condition that invites the viewer to contemplate what is important, not only at the end of life, but through all phases of live and creative pursuits.

Before his death in November 2013, Ed and Lucia fulfilled their long-discussed idea for a personal documentary told from two separate points of view – two filmmakers, two worlds. This final collaboration –fueled by an urgent certainty– navigates discussions of mortality, love, loss and legacy with palpable vulnerability and piercing intimacy rarely seen in non-fiction. From the perspectives of their different backgrounds, generations, genders, and classes, each filmmaker captures the challenging and delicate territory of Ed's unfolding illness, Lucia's bereavement in the wake of the sudden, violent deaths of two close friends, along with Ed's wife Jane's on-again, off-again resistance to the project.

Both filmmakers commit to including the disturbing and squeamish aspects inherent in their endeavor, and in doing so, provoke questions about what might be too private to be made public. In this unified effort, they pursue a shared ideal that autobiographical film can challenge comfortable assumptions about limits of propriety and good taste, and perhaps overthrow them. Through their all-out commitment to the film and their friendship,
One Cut, One Life gives the viewer access not only to what the film meant to its creators, to their bodies of work, and to first-person nonfiction film, but also to the daring and fiery impulses of human creativity.
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Documentary, Bio-pic
Ed Pincus
Diana Clarke, Village Voice

Divided by season into nine sections, the documentary One Cut, One Life is as intuitive as its structure, as natural as the processes of dying and mourning that make up its core. The film is a collaboration between Ed Pincus, who revolutionized first-person nonfiction film and is now a commercial ...

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