Letter to the Editor
WRITTEN, PRODUCED, DIRECTED AND EDITED BY ALAN BERLINER
Composed entirely of photographs cut out from printed editions of The New York Times over the past 40 years, LETTER TO THE EDITOR is the heartfelt musings of a news junkie, an elegy for the death of the printed newspaper in the digital age, and a call to action in the current political moment.
At once an elegy for the death of the printed newspaper in the digital age and an exploration of its place amidst the urgency of this current political moment — where a free press is portrayed as the enemy of the people and fake news makes it impossible to distinguish true from false — LETTER TO THE EDITOR contains the layered and nuanced personal musings of a news junkie and the culmination of his decades-long love affair with the printed newspaper.
In 1980, when he was 23 years old, filmmaker Alan Berliner began collecting photographs from the printed edition of the New York Times, amassing thousands of images over the decades in a vast personal archive. Forty years later, at a time when the newspaper is in an existential battle to survive, Berliner employs his unique collage-like approach to an excavation of the newspaper and what it means to him personally and politically.
With both solemn seriousness and a visual whimsy, the film explores the declining role (and impending disappearance) of the newspaper in the face of transformative advances in media and digital technology — a baby boomer's lament on the end of an era, on coping with change, on time passing, on growing old, and on staying informed and engaged during these challenging and uncertain times.