Bari Pearlman is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been shown at major film festivals and museums around the world, as well as in theaters and on television. Though she has explored a diversity of seemingly unrelated subjects – Mah-Jongg in Jewish culture MAH-JONGG: THE TILES THAT BIND (1998), Buddhist nuns in remote Tibet DAUGHTERS OF WISDOM (2007), the 180 residents of a peculiar Alaskan town THE STRANGEST TOWN IN ALASKA (2009) – what unifies them is their examination of the idea of community, more specifically intentional community. She is continually interested in the question of what makes people choose who and with what they identify, what the implications are of their having that identity and belonging to that group, and how they navigate that choice physically, emotionally and psychologically. She has also produced numerous television and feature documentaries, including SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS: THE UP WITH PEOPLE STORY (2009).
Bari was a 2010 Yaddo Fellow, during which time she created her first in a collection of sound-collage documentaries entitled ROOM/TONE. Her work has also been supported with grants from The Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, The Hartley Film Foundation, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Foundation.
During her Swing Space residency at Governors Island, Bari will be turning her attention to a community that is much closer to her and much more personal – that is, her own family. She will spend her time developing and creating the multi-format documentary LOOKING FOR LEPKE or 13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLACK SHEEP about the notorious Murder Incorporated gangster who was her grandfather’s first cousin.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist