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Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York (2012)

The Photo League (1936-1951) was, for 15 years, the center of the documentary movement in American photography.

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'Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York' is the story of the Photo League (1936-1951), which for fifteen years was the center of the documentary movement in American photography at a time when the camera was held to be, in James Agee's words, 'the central instrument of our time'. Featuring little-known examples of the work of fifty of the Photo League's leading photographers and supplemented with interviews with still feisty (and active) League veterans, the film features a captivating, 'period' musical score and an incisive narration read by Campbell Scott. 'Ordinary Miracles' is a tribute to the high purpose of photography, a remarkable group and an unmatched panorama of urban life in the neighborhoods of New York City during the 1930's and 40's. Written by Daniel Allentuck and Nina Rosenblum

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Release Date:

22 June 2012 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

an entertaining, educational, aesthetic triumph, truly soulful story about people
1 September 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If you love photography, you must watch this film. The quality of the photographs is enormous. To hear the photographers speak of their making of these images under the direction of great teachers associated with the Photo League is even more enriching. The views of New York in this documentary style is a soul shaking reminder of how far America has come and how much further it needs to go. The sadness of this film is the anti-communist witch hunt of the early fifties that shattered the group. Even if you are not a photographer, or even interested in documentary photography and social justice, you will find that this a great film about people, their youth, their energy and spirit, and how many of them found true soulful focus from their work with The Photo League.

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