What Remains

Director: Steven Cantor

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


In 1994, filmmaker Steven Cantor successfully captured an innovative artist at work in his award-winning short film Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann. Blood Ties centered on a series of photographs (published in Mann's book Immediate Family) that catapulted her to national prominence, as well as her share of controversy. Twelve years later, Cantor returns to the Festival with What Remains, a feature-length film on Mann's new seminal work: a photo series revolving around various aspects of death and decay.

Never one to compromise, Sally Mann reflects on her own personal feelings toward death as she continues to examine the boundaries of contemporary photography. Her willingness to reveal her artistic process as it unfolds allows the viewer to gain exclusive entrance to her world. Shown at home on her family farm in Virginia, she is surrounded by her husband and now-grown children.

What Remains is a stunning portrait of a national treasure. Sally Mann has been described as "America's greatest photographer," and this richly textured film only serves to reinforce the claim. Spanning five years, Cantor's film contains unbridled access to the many stages of Mann's work. What Remains is a rare glimpse of an eloquent and brilliant artist.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

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