B-Side: Elsa Dorfman Portrait Photography: Errol Morris’ Docu

Errol Morris’ The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman Portrait Photograhy is not one of the most politically significant or socially ambitious documentaries of this seminal figure of non-fiction cinema, but it certainly is one of his gentlest and most charming.

In his latest work, Morris centers on the eccentric figure of portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, an artist who found her medium in 1980: the larger-than-life Polaroid Land 20×24 camera.

For the next thirty-five years she captured the “surfaces” of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio, various families, Beat poets, rock stars, and some Harvard notables.

As pictures begin to fade and her retirement looms, Dorfman, a most captivating personality, offers director Morris an inside, revelatory and intimate tour of her backyard archive.

End result is a subtle and entertaining documentary.

Running time: 76 minutes