|As a filmmaker, I’m committed to the integrity of the documentary process – to make an honest film there must be genuine trust between filmmaker and those filmed. A documentary is only as strong as the relationship between filmmaker and subject. In fact, I don't even like to use the word 'subject' because it implies a power imbalance. I see myself in an equal relationship with those I film. They have as much to teach me as I do them. And it’s a privilege to be let into their world.
During the making of my film, Voices of Cabrini: Remaking Chicago's Public Housing, I asked how could I – a white woman – walk into the African American community of Cabrini Green and start filming? That would have been presumptuous and I would have only had gained a superficial view of the community. In order to make this film, I spent four years building trust between Cabrini Green residents and myself. I went to Cabrini at least once a month for four years and established relationships. I especially felt at home with barber George Robbins and resident Mark Pratt.
My films are influenced by cinema verite and direct cinema, including the work of Albert Maysles, Antonio Ferrera (who helped make Voices of Cabrini), Nick Broomfield and my teachers Judy Hoffman and Herb DiGioia.