Directed by: David Shapiro
Films on the Arts
Total Runtime: 76 min
Country of Origin: United States
Special Jury Award, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam; Official Selection, Hot Docs.
“A tangled tale of mortality, obsession, creativity and acquisition, as well as the kinds of shared personal grief that can bond otherwise greatly dissimilar people.”
(Q&A with filmmaker after screening)
Missing People is a non-fiction mystery about Martina Batan, the director of a prominent New York gallery, who investigates her brother’s long unsolved murder while obsessively collecting and researching the violent work and life of Roy Ferdinand, an outsider artist from New Orleans. The film interweaves Martina’s present-day search for the truth with archives of a 1990s New Orleans ravaged well before Katrina and a dangerous 1970s New York. Following Martina’s investigations into Ferdinand’s forgotten world and into her own painful past, Missing People explores themes of love, loss, and family as it follows Martina’s journey to make peace with her brother’s murder to its shocking and unexpected conclusion.