Sunday, June 20, 2010

Outside, Looking In (2)

Alessandro, the journalist from Rome who was with us this past week, showed us how difficult it is to be under dispassionate scrutiny for hours at a time.

On the other hand, the scrutiny went both ways. Alessandro was unguarded, surely an unusual trait in an investigative reporter.

After only four days, for instance, I knew that he was careful with money, didn’t drink much, that he gave up trying to learn to play the flute. He knew his little daughter’s shoe size. I learned what it takes to get a press card in Rome (roughly like passing the Bar examination in the U.S.), learned how he voted in the last election. All the while adjusting lights and focus, working, plying his trade, Alessandro showed who he really was, simply because he didn’t try to hide.

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” Michael Brackney brought this quotation from Anais Nin to my attention.

This makes me feel fortunate that the eye behind the camera this week was that of Alessandro.

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