Lee Anne Schmitt

Altadena, CA

Lee Anne Schmitt is a writer and director of essay films and performances. She creates evocative, deeply felt works that consider everyday elements of American life as cultural ritual, including a series of cinematic investigations of the intersections of landscape with personal memory (Las Vegas, 2000), with the history of the American Left (Awake and Sing, 2003), and with urban development (The Wash, 2005). Hey last film, Purge This Land, based on the radical abolitionist John Brown premiered at CPHDox in 2017. In 2017 she won a Graham Foundation Award for the Fansworth Project, made with composer Rob Mazurek. Her work has screened at venues that include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, SFMOMA, The Cinema du Reel at the George Pompidou Center in Paris, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and the Pacific Film Archives in Berkeley. She is faculty in the Film Directing Program at CalArts.

So That I May Come Back


Lee Anne Schmitt is a writer and director of essay films and performances, who creates evocative, deeply felt works that consider everyday elements of American life as cultural ritual.

Artist Bio

So That I May Come Back is a non-traditional documentary based on the case of Mary Bell, who was eleven years old when she was convicted of killing two small boys, Martin Brown (age four) and Brian Howe (age three). Shot in standard 16mm, the film’s images will be a series of landscape tableaux drawn directly from the Mary Bell case and from artist-led workshops around personal experiences of female shame and rage, using trial transcripts and evidence as their source. The film’s title comes from graffiti Mary Bell wrote a few months after she killed her first victim: “I do this now so that I may come back.”


Award Year
2015
Status

In Progress