Evidence: Monk as Documentary Subject


Monk's image in various cinematic biographies is puzzling and contradictory. Gabbard argues that films on Monk tell us as much about the inherent difficulties of documentary filmmaking-particularly with respect to jazz-as they do about Monk's life and music. In addition, he suggests that, like many African-American artists, Monk successfully "held up a trickster's mirror to his observers," allowing them to see precisely what they wished to see.

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A Great Day in Harlem, biography, biopic, Charlotte Zwerin, documentary, ethnography, exoticism, film, Jean Bach, Matthew Seig, mental illness, racism, Thelonious Monk