Filmmaker Magazine featured Sandy Storyline and the other Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes projects in “Storyscapes: Tribeca Goes Interactive” by Randy Astle. Below is an excerpt:
And that’s where the exhibit was so impressive. Sandy Storyline is still online and is still collecting stories, photos, and footage, but they had to also design a space to exhibit some of their material at Storyscapes. The resulting room simulated the wreckage of the storm, with two off-kilter back-to-back flatscreen monitors showing the same footage and a functional phone-charging station to replicate those set up around New York’s blacked out neighborhoods. The footage is elegiac — shots of interviewees, long static shots of street scenes as though Ozu had wandered into a war zone, and mesmeric images of water pumping back into the ocean that seemed lifted straight out of something by Bill Viola. Even with those strengths, the audio is of course where the project’s true strength lies. Here the precedent lies in the realm of Housing Problems, as the storm’s victims one by one tell of their trials and deprivations — but then also, without fail, talk about the strength of their community and the human spirit that buoyed them all up. Speaker after speaker talks about not just how they were helped but how they left their dark apartments and went out to help others. The result is a community portrait that testifies of man’s resilience in the face of disaster. Though visitors to the website may be able to devote more time to extended viewing, seeing it with other New Yorkers in a space that was blacked out after the storm made it that much more meaningful.