Reviews & Quotes | I Didn't See You There
University of Missouri | Robert Greene, filmmaker, "Procession", Associate Professor, Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri
"Reid Davenport’s I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE is extraordinary. The film is immersive, quietly fiery, emotionally galvanizing and radically present tense. It’s the kind of film that can change the way a viewer thinks, not with a didactic agenda, but with the raw power of the camera and the poetic force of the editing. It was my favorite film I saw at Sundance."
UC Berkeley | Jeffrey Skoller, Associate Professor of Film & Media
"I Didn't See You There is brilliant, moving, and connects with the politics of the current moment. Reid Davenport has created one of the few films I've seen that is an actual image of embodied subjectivity - it’s a sensory (auto)ethnography in the truest sense. The film fully realizes and builds upon the aspiration of the diaristic subjective vision of American avant-garde filmmakers Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baille, and Jonas Mekas, and the reflexivity of Cinema Verite."
“'I Didn’t See You There' is first-person poetry in captivating motion, expressed with a singular, assured artistic voice.”
“It is extremely rare that a film with very few human faces can evoke a spectrum of emotions such as laughter, compassion, warmth and distress in 77 minutes. It’s both unsettling and exciting to see a film that is honestly and candidly human, without the frills or the unnecessary.”
“Davenport has put a stake in the ground for an emboldened cinema of disability.”
“A debut feature that is deeply and sometimes opaquely personal.”
“It’s a must-see.”
“Draws a direct line between the circus’ legacy of the “freak show” and the ableism that Davenport […] confronts on a day-to-day basis.”
"Road movies are an iconic American genre, powered by the rush of freedom, independence and possibility. Reid Davenport might laugh at being compared to L.A. mavericks Dennis Hooper or Monte Hellman [...] but his breakthrough feature doc, I Didn’t See You There, fiercely follows in a grand tradition."
“Takes viewers inside Davenport’s POV from a cinematic standpoint”
“How boring it would have been to cut a film made by someone with the same sensibilities as me!”
“A radical film that re-appropriates the gaze and asks audiences to look at the city with a fuller and more inclusive view.”
“More poetic than confrontational, I Didn’t See You There’s methods embody its purpose better than any synopsis. The doc hums with a hypnotic affinity for architectural patterns and urban textures, the visual infrastructure highly attractive to Davenport since it allows him to immerse us in his point of view without being the view himself.”
“Strongly involving. The vignettes that comprise Reid Davenport’s existence really give you a sense of life from the vantage point of one at a lower elevation than most. It’s life, as usual, just a little different, is all.”
"An immersive, impressionistic experience”
“‘I Didn’t See You There’ is a challenging but essential viewing experience.”
“The shots are reverie-inducing, hypnotic and rather enchanting”
“Reid Davenport’s documentary could turn out to be the most important thing you will see this year, if not the greatest.”
“A powerful meditation on how we see people with disabilities”
“Davenport doesn’t just aim to tell the audience about his experience as a disabled person, but to show us the way he sees the world, using techniques that are rarely implemented on screen.”
“I’ve always had this tie with the freak show, especially as a filmmaker who uses his perspective as a disabled person in his work,” [Davenport] said. “Not all of those performers had agency.”
“Filmed from his vantage point, his travels and travails are accompanied by his thoughts and feelings. While you might imagine this would only have limited appeal as a spectacle, it works thanks to a lot of imagination on the director’s part.”
48 Hills | Dennis Harvey
"In his general perspective and frequent logistical frustrations, [...Reid Davenport's] movie provides a challenge to the complacency of the able-bodied, and a chance to experience a very different relationship towards the external world."
San Francisco Chronicle | Chris Vognar
Eat Drink Film | C.J. Hirschfield
"The result satisfies, once the viewer recognizes that the film will not deliver a traditional beginning, middle and end—it’s more like a very thoughtful road trip from his [Reid Davenport's] wheelchair; we’re literally along for the ride."
KQED Arts | Michael Fox
"The accomplishment of I Didn’t See You There lies in how effectively Davenport and editor Todd Chandler interweave the filmmaker’s personal life with his social-issue concerns, to the point where any distinction evaporates."