Two Unknown Photographers

Director: Kon Pet Moon
Screenwriters: Kon Pet Moon

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Kon Pet Moon's Two Unknown Photographers is an ominous and mesmerizing exploration of artistic obsession and truth in photographic representation. Part personal journey, part investigative inquiry, Moon's film is as much a portrait of two amateur photographers, Albert Easterwood and Margaret Raymond, as it is a portrait of the filmmaker's own creative process.

While cleaning out the basement of the old Camera Center in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, Moon discovers two sets of photographs destined for incineration after having gone unclaimed for more than 10 years. Albert's photos are a sexually focused series of manipulated newspaper and magazine ads of women and young girls, while Margaret's are more observational and include such things as museum paintings, department store displays, and movie marquees. Obsessed with the photographs and with learning the motivations of the two people who produced them, Moon begins a fascinating journey in search of the photographers, an investigation that slowly reveals fact and motivation much like a mystery novel and draws the viewer into actively participating in the quest of the two unknown identities.

As Moon manipulates visually interviews with friends and family of the photographers alongside various elements of the photos, the personalities of Albert and Margaret emerge. Small, mysterious details in the photos speak to truths outside their frames and represent fascinating personal details of the photographers. The viewer is left with an expanded sense of the relationship between truth and the photographic image and what insights to truth can be gained from artistic investigation.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details


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