Part of the Progressive Landscapes program.
Mark Street's films explore urban spaces from a variety of genre perspectives-experimental shorts (Fulton Fish Market, TFF '04), improvisational narratives (Rockaway, TFF '05), and personal documentaries (A Year, 'TFF 07). In Hidden in Plain Sight, Street travels to four different continents-Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Searching in urban landscapes (Dakar, Hanoi, Marseille, and Santiago), he uncovers traces of the leftist political figures Ho Chi Minh and Salvador Allende. Street intersperses his own filmed images of these locales with captions containing historical details and writings by political and literary figures, with particular ruminations on Ho Chi Minh's trip by boat to Dakar and Marseille in 1911. Hidden is a meditation on perception. In completely different stylistic fashion from John Gianvito's Profit motive and the whispering wind, Street structures his film in the first-person, placing himself squarely in the center of the journey. He takes refuge behind the lens, which observes the smallest details and rituals in these locales, and he intercuts scenes of daily life between the four continents. Throughout the film, he incorporates captions that reveal his own tentative emotional and physical relationship to his surrounding environments. These visual observations are underscored with a richly textured sound design, incorporating an amalgam of local urban noises, a soulful original score, and voices from the past including Allende's radio speech as his presidential palace was being attacked in 1973. Whereas Street's previous film A Year explored his place within his own nuclear family, Hidden in Plain Sight is this filmmaker's poignant meditation on discovering his own position within a more global historical and geographical continuum.
– Jon Gartenberg